Live Online - Workshop

How to reduce suicide risk

– the practical steps you need to know

This inspiring, empathetic training shows you how to work successfully with anyone thinking about or planning suicide or who has survived a previous attempt

Course Factfile

How to Reduce Suicide Risk (Live Online)

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  • Date: Tues 7th December 21

  • Length: 1 day (9.30am–4.00pm)

  • Tutor: Malcolm Hanson

  • Suitable for: Professionals and people interested for personal reasons (see below)

  • Limited numbers

  • CPD Certificate: 6 hours

  • Price: £145 per person

Includes course notes


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NEW – Live Online – Next date: Tuesday 7th December 2021
Join Malcolm Hanson for this important new workshop which will be delivered via Zoom. All you need is a quiet place to watch, a computer or tablet and a strong internet signal, the rest is easy – simply book your place as normal, and we will email you your confirmation. You will receive details of how to join the Zoom workshop the day before the event.
NB The training will be recorded and made available afterwards in case anyone has technical trouble during the day.

Fantastically clear, Malcolm takes you step-by-step through the important things you need to do and remember

Ivan Tyrrell

Why take this course

In highly challenging times, when people cannot envisage an end to their difficulties, a slump into depression can all too quickly spiral down into suicidal thoughts, plans and suicide attempts. Or the negative trance state of depression itself may beguile people into thinking that there is no way out of their hopelessness.

Suicide is now the most common cause of death in men aged 17 to 34. The highest suicide rate is in men aged 45–49; in women, it is highest in those aged between 50–54.1

Anyone working with distressed people wants to keep them safe, to give them the hope they need that circumstances can change for the better, and to provide the skills for coping until that comes about. The human givens approach, by working with the givens of human nature, offers the most powerful and organic way to achieve this.

Tutor Malcolm Hanson, an experienced HG practitioner, draws on his wealth of relevant experience as he takes you clearly through the essential steps to take when faced with someone who feels suicidal. He worked for nine years as a psychotherapist in NHS primary care in an area of extreme deprivation, and has over many years seen patients referred by GPs, social workers, psychiatrists, police and probation officers for complex issues. He has helped clients experiencing multiple trauma, chronic pain and terminal illness, clients struggling with uncertain asylum status or facing deportation, and also victims of human trafficking – a tragic range of circumstances in which even the most resilient may sometimes sink into despair.

On this important workshop he will share what he has learned to give you the knowledge and assurance you need to work confidently and respectfully with clients struggling to find reasons to stay alive, building in expectation of positive change from the start.

You will also have plenty of time for group discussion and for working through a wide variety of case scenarios.

The one certainty in life is that circumstances ALWAYS change...

What will you learn

  • Crucial elements in rapport building with suicidal people
  • How to normalise circumstances safely
  • A model for running therapeutic sessions that best manage suicide risk
  • Ways to use your own demeanour to instil confidence in the person who is feeling suicidal
  • Effective information gathering to challenge unhelpful beliefs
  • What to look for in answers to questions
  • A structure for difficult conversations
  • The ability to reframe unhelpful beliefs
  • Understandings about when and why different people consider suicide
  • Methods of risk assessment that do not risk loss of rapport
  • How to use language of influence
  • Effective means to address beliefs about being a burden
  • The setting of realistic and empowering goals
  • Why most suicidal crises are surprisingly temporary
  • How to make best use of the client’s own resources
  • The importance of addressing emotional needs
  • Strategies for client safe self-management between sessions
  • The power of guided imagery for working with suicidal clients
  • How to take care of yourself
  • CPD Certificate and more…

Course Programme

The ‘How To Reduce Suicide Risk’ live online course starts at 9.15am and runs until 4.00pm (GMT).

Who is this course suitable for?

  • All psychotherapists and counsellors
  • Mental health and welfare professionals, including GPs, social workers, members of the emergency services, pastoral care and outreach workers – and anyone else working with people with suicidal ideation
  • Anyone concerned for personal reasons – although the course is geared towards carrying out therapy effectively with suicidal clients, it contains a lot of key, helpful information which is presented in a clear, easy to understand way
  • Anyone working with young people, such as teachers and youth workers will also benefit from the knowledge on this course
  • Those who through their paid or volunteer work may come into contact with people who are very distressed will also learn essential live-saving information
Please Note

Please Note

This course is not a substitute for therapy.

Reviews for this course

4.7/5 (52 Reviews)
  1. Julia Ellis, Retired Local Authority Housing Advisor / HG Student

    The structure of the day was really good, there was a lot of opportunities to ask questions, the break out rooms were a great way to discuss case studies. I am always interested to hear how the RIGAAR model can be used and how effective it can be used in the management of suicide risk. Dr Alys Coles-King work is very interesting. An excellent and helpful course understanding how best we can approach this sensitive subject.

  2. Claire Hynd, Airline crew and HG therapist

    Brilliant! Wish that method this would be used at Samaritans suicide prevention charity. The risk assessment is invaluable- In my opinion suicide awareness/ how to manage and or refer on should be a core topic for newbie therapists in training. Or perhaps it is now included ..
    Thank you. I have learnt a wealth of information to support suicide ideation in my private practice

  3. Paul Brathwaite, Support Worker at Nightshelter

    This is such an important topic and I found the approach very practical. I did it as part of my CPD training for HG. The surprising bit for me was that it helped me to think more broadly about how to share information with colleagues who aren’t HG trained. Malcolm has an amazing knack to include all approaches.

  4. Social Care Worker – In Mental Health Services

    This is an excellent workshop very informative with great material. Malcolm is very experienced and highly professional in delivering this workshop.

  5. Art Psychotherapist & Human Givens Practitioner

    I already do suicide training through work but wanted to ensure I wasn’t missing anything for private practice. I felt the course covered the subject well and I gained some new tools, and I do now feel more confident in working with suicidality as a lone practitioner. Malcolm presents with a clear, calm and confident style. Some attendees commented that the content was quite ‘full on’ – I thought it was all appropriate and sensitively delivered – suicide training needs to be honest and to ensure we would know what to do when faced with someone we are worried about.

  6. Speech and Language Therapist / HG trainee

    This was a useful, practical and informative course which covered emotional needs relating to suicide, discussion of the concept of risk, and practical strategies to support people considering ending their lives by suicide.

  7. CBT Counsellor

    This course was very detailed and full of metaphors to illustrate points relating to a difficult subject. I absolutely felt “in the flow” and the course made me reflect on many aspects I had not thought of. Thank you.

  8. Ruth Cullinan, Counsellor

    I found the course really useful and feel much more confident when working with suicidal ideation.
    I also liked the whole group discussions and the fluidity of how it flowed. It didn’t feel rigid, yet the content was covered thoroughly.
    The content was informative and explained in a way that made sense. Often we can get lost in jargon, but Malcolm ensured he clarified anything that may have been confusing or misunderstood.
    Overall I have learnt lots of new ways to work.

  9. Michelle MacDonald, Homeopath

    This was an excellent workshop! The case studies were interesting and thought-provoking’

  10. Emily Saunders, General Practitioner

    I always come away from HG training feeling inspired and excited to improve my practice. I am very nearly now a fully trained HG therapist but I continue to do courses regularly to refresh and reinvigorate my career as a GP Specialist in Mental Health. This was particularly timely during the surge in mental health crises through the pandemic and working with suicidal patients who do not “fit” or engage with traditional mental health services. It was practical, useful and stimulating particularly in terms of bringing in different sources of information/research (eg Cole -King, the Kevin Hines story). I also enjoyed the balance between group exercises/discussion and interactive presentation.

  11. Course attendee

    Despite the subject matter of the course I found it surprisingly uplifting and just offered so much advice in terms of understanding and helping someone who is suffering from Suicidal ideation.

  12. Mental Health Practitioner

    This course provides an excellent mix of material on managing risk and therapeutic tools to help people in distress. Very enjoyable course using zoom platform, good use of breakout rooms to discuss in further detail course content and case studies. Excellent materials provided in workbook and case studies. Zoom joining and use of breakout rooms was very well managed.

  13. Maria Martin, General Practitioner

    The organisation of the course was good and the presenter Malcolm was good at getting through his material without being rushed and allowing anecdotes and some participation. The main motive of the course seemed to be to give therapists (especially HG trained therapists) the ‘permission’ and reassurance that they have the skills to handle suicidal thoughts being expressed by their clients. Whereas the course was advertised to be able to give anyone interventionist skills. The main intervention in HG treatment is the ‘Rehearsal’ which obviously was not taught on this course. I would have liked some videos or transcripts of actual helpful and unhelpful phrases when conducting a conversation with someone who is feeling suicidal. The course remained too prescriptive with only a very few suggested phrases. Afterall the difference you can make is in how you conduct the consultation.

  14. Pamela Woodford, HG Therapist and tutor

    Very valuable insights into suicide risk management delivered by an excellent and empathic speaker. I found the way that Malcolm set it through the RIGAAR model, helpful and easy to apply. Looking at the work of Dr Alys Cole-King was useful for further reading and study. Certainly will apply the methods to my work.

  15. Human Givens Therapist

    It was well planned and informative with lots of helpful references. It was also very affirming of the role therapists can play in suicidal ideation, with a clear explanation of how RIGAAR can be adapted to such a scenario. It took the fear away from approaching the subject of suicide with the client and gave clear steps of how to look at the risk, unpack it and respond to it.

  16. Marion Cuthill, Half way through Part 2, Otherwise retired

    Best H G zoom training I have done Thank you

  17. Catriona Mason, HG Psychotherapist

    Today was intense in a positive way. I have learnt so much on a personal and professional level. The diversity of knowledge and personal experience powered the session. It was facilitated professionally and with compassionate diligence. I ended my day feeling more knowledgeable, empowered and confident. Suicide is a difficult conversation. This course made the topic more accessible so allowing more understanding and empathy that will save lives.

  18. Homeopath/life coach/hypnotherapist

    The course was well designed with good notes supplied. Malcolm is an experienced and compassionate man, who knows his subject well and delivers the material in an accessible way.

  19. Hypnotherapist

    Fantastic in both breadth and depth. Practical and empowering.

  20. Judith Desbonne, Human givens therapist and psychiatric nurse practitioner

    Well structured, well planned and delivered well.

  21. Sue Anderson, HG Therapist

    Invaluable tools, real life savers.

  22. Careers Manager / Therapist

    I thought the course was well thought out and structured well. Very informative with lots of useful information. The tutor was very easy to listen to.

  23. Counsellor/End of Life Doula

    Really insightful and pulled out a lot of my other learning as I (pattern matched) refreshed my skills and learnt new things. I got a lot more from this than I thought I was going to.

  24. Counsellor

    This was a useful course in thinking about ways to mitigate risk of suicide, with ideas of how to approach talking about suicide and information about research into the area.

  25. Violet Phillips, Data Storage Specialist IT Industry

    To begin with thought I was on the wrong course as do not have much experience, but was made to feel welcome and able to join in. Very difficult subject handled practically and compassionately. Thank you Arlene and Malcolm

  26. Psychotherapist

    Yet another excellent Human Givens Course. The material was rich and covered important aspects in detail. You’re left with a useful structure and range of ideas/techniques for tackling a very difficult subject with greater competence and confidence.Malcolm’s presentation of the material was spot on – he had the right note of calm, care and intelligence throughout. He managed a good balance of combining getting through a lot of material while allowing people to share their useful knowledge and experiences. Really well done.

  27. Occupational Therapist

    An excellent course, very clear presentation and delivered with compassion and a wealth of experience. Interesting to learn how risk assessments are not static and why private therapists are in a very useful position to treat people who are suicidal.

  28. Rayna Mayer, Trainee human givens psychotherapist

    A highly informative day. The tutor held the space for both lecture and group discussion resulting in multi-way sharing of knowledge and experience. Prior to the training I felt apprehensive about working with clients reporting suicidal plans or ideation, now I know that I have the tools to help make a difference and restore hope.

  29. HG Practitioner and University Mental Health Mentor

    Malcolm delivered the course in such a clear way and the content felt well supported by a broad range of research. The day was well paced, giving plenty of time for useful and informative discussion and input from the other participants. I feel as if I have lots to reflect on in relation to my own work and overall, really excellent, thank you 🙂

  30. Human Givens Therapist and Nurse

    Excellent in every way!

  31. Sarah McLaughlin, Theraputic Counsellor

    Very informative. Content easy to follow and explained thoroughly by the tutor.

  32. Charles Curry-Hyde, Architect

    I was inspired by Malcolm’s approach.

  33. Counsellor

    Good overview of risks and strategies to use when working with clients who present with suicidal thoughts.

  34. Elaine Curtin, HG Therapist

    This was a vey good insightful practical course which flowed well. The presentation slides nicely reflected the course material notes and given the nature of the topic there was also input from very experienced course delegates. The tutor was calm, clear and on point. There was opportunity to hear from everyone who attended and I found the course valuable and has given me more confidence to deal with this topic in the future with my clients.

  35. Catherine Neil, HG Therapist

    An excellent, thorough, and most importantly, helpful day understanding how we can approach this difficult subject with our clients and how best we can help prevent suicide.

  36. Counsellor, Pain Management Therapist

    Really enjoyed this day, very informative, great listening to others, great interaction.

  37. HG Psychotherapist

    A very clear look at how the HG approach can be used to help clients experiencing suicidal thoughts. The examples based on real clients were very useful to think about and discuss.

  38. Anna Tingle, HG therapist

    The course was informative and reassuring, as this is a difficult area to deal with. I thought that Malcolm was extremely personable and considerate. His approach was extremely consensual, which I admire, but I would have liked to have heard more about his views and valuable experience.

  39. Karen Hautz, HG practitioner

    I learnt so much today and can immediately integrate this new learning into my current counselling work with clients. I liked how the approach to helping people with suicide risk aligns with the HG RIGAAR model.

  40. Kim Hood, Mental health

    The content of the course was very good and highly informative. The information and ideas presented were appropriate to the subject. The break out sessions could have been a little longer, perhaps by 5 or 10 minutes. I think it is always difficult trying to appeal to those wanting CPD from an HG background and those who are not. A good balancing act well delivered. I would have liked some more handouts like the flowchart that I could use or would help me devise my own.

  41. Don Elwick, Psychotherapist/Builder

    This was a really helpful agenda, covering just about all aspects of the “suicide situation” that I felt I might come across. It was particularly reassuring, that we found ways of protecting ourselves as therapists, which would release us to deal more effectively with clients expressing suicidal notions.

  42. Lynn Brera, Counselor

    The course came up to my expectations of reviewing the aspects of suicide management. I particularly liked Malcolms hosting and interventions, extremely clear and concise.

  43. Sally Nilsson, Human Givens Psychotherapist

    Interesting and comprehensive. I took the course to gain knowledge and feel more confident and I am ready now to work with more challenging cases. Thank you Malcom.

  44. N/A

    This is an excellent course. The contents of the day are invaluable and it is delivered really well. Malcolm is a gifted practitioner and made this day 100% effective. I’m not a therapist but felt very included and could follow and understand every stage. The course notes came in advance which enabled me to read through and get my head around the HG approach before hand. Very informative and thought provoking. Highly recommended.

  45. Health coach and HG counsellor

    This was a wonderfully practical and empowering day. I feel far better equipped to help anyone with suicidal thoughts and also feel I know how to do this as ‘safely’ as possible.

  46. Occupational therapist

    An excellent course, very clear presentation and delivered with compassion and a wealth of experience.

  47. Diana Thornton, HG Therapist

    Excellent and practical guidance which has left me feeling more confident.

  48. Alix Royer, (HG) therapietrouw and counselor

    Contents very relevant and worthwhile. Well presented.

  49. HG therapist

    Yet another excellent Human Givens Course. The material was rich and covered important aspects in detail. You’re left with a useful structure and range of ideas/techniques for tackling a very difficult subject with greater competence and confidence. Malcolm’s presentation of the material was spot on – he had the right note of calm, care and intelligence throughout. He managed a good balance of combining getting through a lot of material while allowing people to share their useful knowledge and experiences. Really well done.

  50. John Halker, Psychotherapist

    Excellent insight from the Human Givens perspective in how to help suicidal people. Real tools and realistic best practice, not tarnished by the culture of risk assessment.

  51. Emma Slater, Mental health charity - rehabilitation of offenders

    The course was very informative and inclusive and I enjoyed the opportunity to practise in real situations.

  52. Tom Lawrence, HG Therapist

    Very well paced, with excellent level of detail; interesting and very well communicated.

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