As we reflect on events of the last year during this September Suicide Prevention Month, we’ve seen worrisome data about increasing rates of suicidal thinking. We are also witnessing a global pandemic of the novel corona virus as it increases anxiety, depression, stress, and substance abuse which is always a concern as it relates to suicidal people, and frankly the pandemic has wrought havoc on our clinical research, prevention, and treatment efforts across our field.
However, even with these discouraging and seemingly insurmountable challenges, as we look forward to and plan for the coming year, we at CAMS-care believe there are reasons for hope.
Suicide Prevention Awareness is Increasing
As suicide rates have increased over decades and suicidal ideation poses a major national health problem, politicians and policymakers are beginning to notice and take action. In July, the FCC unanimously approved the three-digit 988 dialing number in the U.S. for the 24/7 national hotline, starting in 2022. Funding is increasing for suicide research and programming, and the Zero Suicide policy initiative is gaining a strong foothold in many healthcare systems across the country and around the world.
The Evidence Base in Effective Programs is Growing
Although the COVID-19 pandemic threw curveballs at three on-going CAMS RCTs (randomized control trials), preliminary results of those RCTs are still promising. Additionally, use of CAMS-based care in states like Oklahoma, Vermont, and Ohio, as well as the United Kingdom is leading to encouraging outcomes.
Training in Evidence-Based Programs is Becoming More Accessible
Another silver lining to the Coronavirus scourge has been an invigorated interest and effort within telecommunications, telehealth, and telepsychology. Now more than ever, health care organizations are discovering new ways to use technology to deliver services using these technologies, and patients are becoming more acclimated to these new delivery systems. CAMS-care has responded to the COVID-19 crisis with a robust offering of training now available 100% online.
More Qualified Clinicians and Counselors are Entering the Field
With training in evidence-based assessment and treatment programs such as CAMS becoming affordable and accessible, more clinicians are entering the field of mental health armed with tools that work. In fact, our goal at CAMS-care is to certify 20,000 clinicians by next year’s National Suicide Prevention Month. Becoming “CAMS Trained“ requires 10 hours of online course time, and includes online role-playing and 4 hours of consultation calls with a CAMS expert. Furthermore, you have the option of being included in the free CAMS Clinician Locator allowing suicidal ideators and their loved ones to find CAMS-trained clinicians in their states. (In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month, we are offering a 20% discount on CAMS training – please use coupon code NSPM20 at checkout.)
With an increase in qualified and trained counselors and clinicians, more struggling suicidal people will have access to the help they desperately need – especially in rural areas, where suicide rates can be worrisome and available services may be sparse.
For me, these positive developments serve as a beacon of hope during these challenging times. During this month of Suicide Prevention Awareness, I hope you’ll join all of us here at CAMS-care in our efforts to support clinical research and increase the number of providers trained in evidence-based programs, treatments, and interventions to ultimately reduce suicidal suffering, behaviors, and deaths.
We simply must rise up in the face of our challenges ahead as we continue to pursue this important fight this month and beyond. We can make a difference in reducing suicide and suicide-related suffering within our communities and around the world.
Countless precious lives depend on our efforts!
- 20% discount on all CAMS training during this National Suicide Prevention Month (use coupon code NSPM20 at checkout)
- Treating Suicidal Risk Using Telepsychology: A CAMS Approach (Watch On-Demand)
- Learn about becoming CAMS Trained (our certified training program)