Part 2: Recognizing and Addressing Suicidal Ideation and Behavior in individuals with a First Episode of Psychosis

Part 2 of webinar series, sponsored by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS).

Background:  Individuals with schizophrenia and other psychoses are at heightened risk of suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, "Persons with schizophrenia pose a high risk for suicide. Approximately one-third will attempt suicide and, eventually, about 1 out of 10 will take their own lives." NIMH, in their White Paper on Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) services for individuals experiencing a first episode of psychosis, recommends that: “… CSC staff members must understand common problems that cut across all service categories, such as difficulties in engaging the client and their family members, clients’ vulnerability for developing substance use problems, and heightened risk of suicide during the early years of treatment.”  To assist States and block grant funded FEP providers in recognizing and addressing suicidal risks in their clients, SAMHSA/CMHS has sponsored two virtual sessions that address the issues of identifying and addressing suicidal ideation and behavior.

Description:  The second webinar of this two-part series focuses on the clinical and programmatic issues that FEP programs must address once suicidal ideation and behaviors have been identified. Experts on suicidality in schizophrenia discuss their experiences in addressing suicide risks and behaviors within a CSC program. The webinar specifically focuses on the value of continuous risk assessments for clients with FEP, the importance of safety planning, and the need for both proactive and reactive risk management.  The webinar is presented through the lens of real-world cases, and will include attention to cultural issues.  



  • Federal Welcome:  Monique Browning, Public Health Advisor, SAMHSA/CMHS Division of State and Community Systems Development
  • Yael Holoshitz, M.D., Psychiatrist, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Tara Niendam, Ph.D., Psychologist, Director of Operations, EDAPT and SacEDAPT Programs at UC Davis
  • James Wright, LCPC,  Public Health Advisor in SAMHSA/CMHS Suicide Prevention Branch