Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Celeste Jones, Psy.D.

Second Advisor

Mary Peterson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Luann Foster, Psy.D.


Emergency departments (EDs) are often the first access point to services for suicidal patients (Miller et al., 2017) and assessment of risk. Suicide has become the second-most common cause of death for Americans, yet those at the most risk often have limited access to appropriate care. In addition, suicidal patients spend more time in the ED than those with other presenting problems. Compounding the problem is these patients who have the longest length of stay are medically stabilized but don’t receive treatment interventions related to their presenting problem. Together, these findings indicate a need for accessible intervention in the ED. This study is a program development of an intervention protocol and training designed to initiate treatment for behavioral health problems in the ED. The program’s goal is to provide services for individuals still actively suicidal or at high-risk but waiting in the ED for psychiatric hospitalization. Training outcome results indicate an overall significant improvement in trainee competency and comfort in administering the intervention protocol, as well as a large effect size, indicating more robust generalizability in other settings. However, analysis indicates some discrepancies in competency areas, warranting future training improvements. Results, limitations, and considerations for future research are also discussed.

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Psychology Commons