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SCCPA Psychology Today

Suicide Prevention and Clinical Management for Div
By Jessica A Byrd-Olmstead
Posted on 12/27/2018 11:21 AM

On November 4th I attended the Suicide Prevention and Clinical Management for Diverse Clients workshop presented by Dr. Joyce Chu.  Dr. Chu Is an Associate Professor, Faculty Chair and Co-Director for the Center for Excellence in Diversity at Palo Alto University. In addition, she has published multiple articles on suicide assessment and has worked with the Santa Clara Suicide Prevention Oversight Committee (SPOC) team. As a long term member of SCCPA I am often excited to see the different presentations put on over the years and this was no exception. This workshop was especially meaningful as Dr. Chu had served as a past supervisor and mentor to me for many years. Having the opportunity to hear her expertise on risk assessment with diverse clients reminded me of the gratitude I have for her as a colleague and outstanding professional in our field.


The topic of suicide and suicidal patients can be anxiety provoking for even the most seasoned clinician. However, Dr. Chu was able to integrate streamlined, evidence based and easy to understand approaches. The training was a great refresher on risk assessment and also took into account the complexity around suicide prevention and management with diverse groups including ethic and religious minorities as well as the LGBTQ community. Dr. Chu defined and helped me to re-conceptualize culture as a back drop to risk assessment in new ways. This workshop served as point of extreme importance as suicide rates have continued to climb especially with vulnerable populations.


Overall, I left the training with a greater knowledge of the theories regarding risk factors for suicide, concrete tools for assessment and culturally competent approaches for treatment planning. A huge kudos to Dr. Chu, SCCPA welcomes your expertise anytime in the future!