Explore Evidence-Based Interventions for Suicide Care

CSPAR faculty members have led and partnered with other investigators on clinical trials and training initiatives using a number of Evidence-Based Interventions for Suicide Care.

CAMS (Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality)

CAMS is a 4-12 session, outpatient, evidence based, suicide-focused treatment framework. This model can be integrated as an intervention in itself or integrated with other suicide prevention or behavioral health interventions. As its name implies, CAMS has two primary foci – establishing and maintaining a therapeutic alliance and keeping the focus on suicidality until it resolves. CAMS is liked by patients and clinicians and results in carefully crafted documentation.

Caring Contacts

Caring Contacts is a simple but powerful suicide prevention intervention. Instead of waiting for clients to reach out in distress, Caring Contacts clinicians reach out to clients repeatedly over time, leading to moments of connection and providing opportunities to offer help when it is needed. Caring Contacts is recommended by the VA/DoD Clinical Practice guidelines.

DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. In addition, research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. As such, DBT is a transdiagnostic, modular treatment. DBT is recommended by the VA/DoD Clinical Practice guidelines.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy – Accepting the Challenges of Employment and Self Sufficiency

DBT-ACES is an expansion and adaptation of Standard DBT featuring a second year of treatment designed to meet the needs of DBT graduates who want to increase self-sufficiency and maintain living wage employment. The goal by the end of the DBT-ACES year is for clients to have mastered skills and to have created environmental contingencies to provide sufficient momentum that is close to inevitable that they will achieve their employment, social, and independence goals. A recent paper by Carmel & Comtois explains how DBT-ACES strategies can be integrated into CBT.

PARS (Preventing Addiction Related Suicide)

PARS is an interactive psycho-educational suicide prevention training program to be used within community addiction group therapy treatment. It was designed with input from addiction patients, counselors, administrators, and suicide experts to fit easily into Intensive Outpatient Programs, the most common form of addiction treatment in the U.S.

Safety Planning Intervention

People at risk for suicide are likely to experience changes in their level of risk over time; acute suicide risk usually increases and then decreases over a short period of time. The goal of safety planning is for people to become more aware of their personal warning signs that a suicidal crisis is beginning or escalating so that they can take action before they are in danger of acting on their suicidal feelings.

Suicide Care Clinical Pathways​

Seattle Children’s Hospital Zero Suicide Initiative
This pathway was developed through local consensus based on published evidence and expert opinion as part of Clinical Standard Work at Seattle Children’s. Pathway teams include representatives from Medical, Subspecialty, and/or Surgical Services, Nursing, Pharmacy, Clinical Effectiveness, and other services as appropriate.

Behavioral Health Integration Program in UW Primary Care
This program is developing suicide care pathways through a Garvey small grant for the Suicide Care Research Center.