The Zero Suicide Initiative & CAMS Suicide Prevention Training

Zero Suicide is a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems. It is a framework that focuses on the evidence-based foundation that suicide is preventable, with specific strategies and tools. The foundational belief of Zero Suicide is that suicide deaths for individuals under care within health and behavioral health systems are preventable.

There are 7 elements in the Zero Suicide Toolkit. CAMS and CAMS-care provide solutions to 4 of these elements:


system-wide culture change committed to reducing suicides


a competent, confident, and caring workforce

  •  CAMS-care provides Education training in suicide statistics, research and evidence and outcome-based treatments for your whole organization and training for clinicians in CAMS


individuals with suicide risk via comprehensive screening and assessment

  •  CAMS and the Suicide Status Form includes a comprehensive assessment for suicidal patients


all individuals at-risk of suicide using a suicide care management plan

  •  The Suicide Status Form provides the patient and clinician with a suicide care management plan


suicidal thoughts and behaviors using evidence-based treatments

  •  CAMS is one of only a few evidence-based suicide-specific treatments that your clinicians can learn quickly and affordably


individuals through care with warm hands-off and supportive contracts


policies and procedures through continuous quality improvement

Continuous Quality Improvement 1 Scaled

Continuous Quality Improvement

Evidence-based treatments like CAMS are at the heart of Zero Suicide implementations. Some of the most successful Zero Suicide programs have trained staff to identify suicidality using tools like QPR, ASIST, and Sources of Strength. The suicidal client will then be screened/assessed with ASQ and the C-SSRS being the most widely used. The next step is to treat suicidal ideation with CAMS using the Suicide Status Form (SSF). The SSF is used both to assess suicidality at intake and then track it during subsequent sessions. In this way, the SSF provides an evidence-based process for the EAP counselor to ask the right questions to tailor a best-fit treatment plan for each client. Research shows SSF training builds clinicians’ confidence and fluency in assessing, treating, and managing suicidality across a wide range of populations, including indigenous people, communities of color, and youth allowing for the immediate integration of cultural considerations/preferences into treatment.

CAMS has been integrated into many Zero Suicide initiatives in the United States and abroad. As a charter member of the Action Alliance Clinical Care Task Force, Dr. Jobes helped to shape Zero Suicide as a policy initiative from its beginning and he continues to serve as a Zero Suicide faculty member. Due to its flexibility, CAMS can be readily adapted into a range of healthcare settings to meet the Zero Suicide sub-goal of treating suicide directly.

Many organizations across the United States implementing Zero Suicide have completed CAMS training. In this video, Dr. Jobes provides an informative update on the use of CAMS in Zero Suicide initiatives.

For more information on how we can work with you to meet your Zero Suicide goals, please contact us.

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Zero Suicide In Vermont

The Vermont Department of Mental Health (DHM) committed to the Zero Suicide framework for suicide prevention statewide in 2015. Their findings state the need for continued focus on the use of CAMS and the development of effective training and supporting new and previously non-CAMS trained clinicians to become CAMS trained.

Learn more about Vermont Zero Suicide (PDF)
Download the Lessons Learned Report (PDF)

“The Vermont Suicide Prevention Center has been working with CAMS-care to identify a training approach that meets the needs of clinicians in Vermont through online training and consult calls. We chose CAMS-care as the preferred tool for Zero Suicide implementation in Vermont because it is both an assessment and a treatment, and provides high-quality training and support. CAMS-care has been very responsive to feedback and this has increased overall satisfaction with the training approach.”

JoEllen Tarallo, ED.D, MCHES

Director, Vermont Suicide Prevention Center


Why is CAMS the best choice for suicide prevention?
CAMS stands for the “Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality” (CAMS). CAMS is first and foremost a clinical philosophy of care. It is a therapeutic framework for suicide-specific assessment and treatment of a patient’s suicidal risk. It is a flexible approach that can be used across theoretical orientations and disciplines for a wide range of suicidal patients across treatment settings and different treatment modalities.

We are participating in Zero Suicide, how can we go about implementing CAMS in our organization?
CAMS-care provides the only authorized training in CAMS that readily fits well into a Zero-Suicide policy effort. Dr. Jobes has been involved in the Zero Suicide movement since its inception and CAMS is consistently used within Zero Suicide initiatives as one of only a handful of suicide-specific evidence-based approaches to suicidal risk according to replicated randomized controlled trials. Please contact us for more information.

We have funding or are planning to submit a grant proposal for the Garrett Lee Smith Act (GLS) as part of our Zero Suicide initiative. Could we work with CAMS to set up a training with these funds?
Yes, CAMS is an excellent evidenced based suicide-specific clinical intervention that is well suited for suicide prevention efforts funded by GLS. Many CAMS trainings have been conducted for state organizations and Native American behavioral health providers over the past several years. Please complete our Inquiry Form for more information and a member of our team will contact you.

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