Between 2008 and 2015, the Australian Psychological Society, in collaboration with other health professionals, has developed and implemented education, training and support for Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) programme clinicians delivering Suicide Prevention (SP).  The Commonwealth Department of Health provided funding assistance under the ATAPS programme for the development of the training and subsequently subsidised training places.

As at 31 December 2014, 2,807 ATAPS professionals had registered for the subsidised online Suicide Prevention (SP) training package, of these 1,808 had completed all the components. Existing registrations will not incur any additional cost to complete the course.

All subsidised training places are now fully utilised however the training will remain available to ATAPS and other clinicians on a fee paying basis. This ensures that the training can be regularly updated and remain available and relevant to clinicians into the future.  The training is available via the APS Institute eLearning website 

Course overview

The aim of the Suicide Prevention Professional Development Training is to equip allied health clinicians with foundational knowledge and skills which will assist them in working with and effectively engaging populations at risk of suicide and serious self-harm.

The Suicide Prevention Professional Development Training is divided into four topics which contain video and audio presentations, case study demonstrations, interactive learning activities, and a list of useful resources. The four topics of the training are listed below:

Topic 1 - About Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour

Topic 2 - Risk Assessment and Crisis Intervention

Topic 3 - Working with Populations at Risk of Suicide or Serious Self-Harm

Topic 4 - Referrals and Self-Care for the Allied Health Worker

The training also includes an online assessment for each topic which is comprised of a series of multiple choice questions.

Upon completing this training course and after successfully completing the required assessment tasks for each topic, allied health clinicians will be eligible to work under the ATAPS Suicide Prevention Service.

The total time required to complete the online training program is approximately 8 hours.

Who is Eligible

The following allied health workers who are working with or for Divisions of General Practice and Medicare Locals are eligible to provide services under the ATAPS Suicide Prevention Service:

  • Psychologists;
  • Social Workers;
  • Mental Health Nurses;
  • Occupational Therapists; and
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers.

Successful completion of the Suicide Prevention Professional Development Training is a mandatory requirement for any allied health professional wanting to provide this ATAPS service. Provisionally registered providers are not eligible to deliver ATAPS suicide prevention services.