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Women & Suicide

Women & Suicide

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Course Information

Is this Workshop for You?

Unfortunately, women's experience of distress and suicidality has had limited consideration directly, with historical references to self destructive behaviour in women conceptualised as 'hysterical', passive, driven by hormones or otherwise irrational. In addition, the gender difference in men taking their lives at a rate of 3 : 1 compared to women, appears to undermine clinicians perceptions that women's suicidality is a genuine threat to their life. While the loss of men to suicide is certainly devastating, women attempt suicide three times the rate to that of men, revealing 'the gender paradox' and the extent of women's distress warranting specific assessment and intervention considerations.

In this workshop we explore a range of psychosocial, psychological and environmental factors that challenge clinicians to reconceptualise women's suicidality as reflections of the diverse psychosocial stressors and traumas they have experienced. Women fulfill many roles and responsibilities, with 'gender and culture scripts' identified as important in influencing the expression of suicide intent, methods used and lethality of outcomes. As such, understanding culture, demographics and generational considerations become inherent in reflecting on suicide and related behaviours, influencing how we understand risk and offer interventions. Clinicians can play a significant role in exploring coping strategies, identifying resources and enriching women’s lives, through introducing and facilitating collaborative approaches to finding fulfilling lives and preventing suicide.

This online workshop explores strategies for engaging women experiencing suicidality at various points across the life span, where a range of co-occurring complex circumstances may also be relevant, including alcohol and other substance use, current and historical trauma, violence and abuse, forensic behaviours and women experiencing intellectual/cognitive/psychological/health difficulties.

Learn at your own pace, with activities to complete in your own time, over six weeks

Commencement dates:
This is an evergreen course (available on demand) with access from point of registration for 8 weeks. This course will be available from 1st February 2021.

Online Time commitments:
Each module contains between four and six lessons, including mini-lectures, lesson materials, readings and resources for suicide risk formulation, where you can learn at your own pace. As an evergreen course, there are no 'live' webinars for this course.

Training Materials
All included

Content Inclusions

This training provides a range of supportive information and skill development exercises. The screening, assessment, referral and management practices have been tailored to the specific needs of a female target group.

Topics include:
Module 1: Introduction - how women express crisis
Module 2: Trauma, sexual violence and self hate
Module 3: Lifespan and stages of development - what's the evidence?
Module 4: Identity, culture and gender scripts
Module 5: Intersecting complexities - mental health, psychological characteristics and substance use
Module 6: Brief Interventions and Treatment Options

Follow-up or stand-alone consultation services are available. Complement your training with a professional review of your systems, procedures and environment.


When asked to comment on what they valued most in the training, an example of participant feedback included

  • “Focus on transitions and shifts in suicidality was very helpful and highlighted the importance of ongoing follow up/assessment throughout treatment. I found the small group work encouraged participation” (Psychologist)
  • “The gender differences (leading to) the need for a comprehensive assessment” (School Psychologist)

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