Health Information Management

Suicide: Facing the Difficult Topic Together – Empowering Physicians, Instilling Hope in Patients

This course is offered in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).

This course is available in both English and French. For the French page, please click here.

Mental Health Commission of Canada



Course Description

Those who die by suicide frequently had contact with a health care provider in the weeks and months prior to their death. In adults ages 55 or older, up to 70% visited a primary care provider within a month of their death. That is why family physicians play a pivotal role in preventing suicides in Canada. As gatekeepers, they are often best positioned to identify those who may be at risk for suicide and able to provide or link those at risk with the care they so desperately need.  

This course provides learners with a firm understanding of suicide prevention, assessment, intervention, safety planning, local resources, and how to make effective referrals. Learners will be made alert and attentive to possible risk factors, warnings signs, and reports of physiological symptoms from their patients even in the absence of any reported suicidal behaviours.

Why Take This Course?

  • Applicable to your daily practice for immediate results
  • Interactive and engaging – using reality-based scenarios, videos from experts and suicide survivors, curated resources, and meaningful content
  • Learn at your own pace in a fully online and completely asynchronous environment
  • Relevant and practical skill-based learning applicable for family physicians across Canada
  • Quick – complete in as little as 2 hours

This course has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 2.0 Mainpro+ Credit(s). 

  • There are no application prerequisites for this course
  • Approximately 2 hours  
  • Take up to 3 months to complete, at your own pace

This course is offered at no cost.


Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, you will be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to recognize the risk of suicide and determine how to best intervene.  

Module 1 – Background  

  • Suicide as a public health issue  
  • Suicide myths and realities  
  • Using appropriate terminology  

Module 2 – Understanding Suicide 

  • Prevalence and impact of suicide in Canada 
  • Groups at greatest risk of suicide  
  • Suicide assessment process 
  • Warning signs 
  • Suicide risk factors and protective factors  
  • Link between suicide and mental health 

Module 3 – How to Have the Difficult Conversation 

  • Developing a therapeutic relationship 
  • C.A.R.E tool  
  • Suggested reflective suicide-specific questions 
  • Building a rapport 
  • Risk factor assessment 

Module 4 – Empowering You and Your Client 

  • Risk assessment tools 
  • Safety planning 
  • Closing the loop  

Module 5 – Conclusion 

  • Summary of key learning points 

Course Quick FAQ

  • What will I achieve at the completion of this course?

    At the end of this course, you will receive a certificate from CHA Learning.

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Why Choose CHA Learning

With over 70 years of history as a healthcare non-profit, online learning is all we do. Tens of thousands of professionals have graduated from our programs and gone on to positively impact the health system. Our healthcare experts and faculty coaches are industry leaders. Our team provides exceptional support and truly cares about your success. Learn more about us.

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