Pre-professional Suicide Training for Counselors: Results of a Readiness Assessment

  • Jenny L. Cureton
  • Elysia V. Clemens
  • Janessa Henninger
  • Connie Couch
Original Article


Change is needed in mental health pre-professional suicide training (PPST) to address updates in practice, ethical/legal, and accreditation guidelines. Assessing readiness for change can inform successful, lasting change. The Community Readiness Model offered an established structure for research team analysis of interviews with educators, administrators, and supervisors representing diverse, accredited counselor training programs. An overall score of 4.9 out of 9 indicates the counselor education and supervision (CES) profession is in the preplanning stage of readiness to address PPST. Readiness dimensional subscores ranged from 3.6 to 6.6, which align with readiness stages from vague awareness to initiation. CES needs to increase readiness to improve PPST regarding logistical support, knowledge of existing training, active leadership support, and the attitudinal environment toward suicide and PPST. This assessment informs the work of training program administrators, state and national policymakers, educators, and supervisors to improve PPST for future counselors.


Suicide Suicide training Counseling Readiness Counselor education Mental health training 


Funding Information

This research was supported in part by a grant from the University of Colorado Denver Association of Lecturers and Instructors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethics Approval and Consent to Participate

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenny L. Cureton
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elysia V. Clemens
    • 1
  • Janessa Henninger
    • 4
  • Connie Couch
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Northern ColoradoGreeleyUSA
  2. 2.University of Colorado DenverDenverUSA
  3. 3.Counselor Education and SupervisionKent State UniversityKentUSA
  4. 4.Adams State UniversityAlamosaUSA

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