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Tuesday, April 27, 2020
9:00 AM to 4:15 PM PDT

  • Registration 8:30 AM-9:00 AM  
  • Program 9:30 AM-4:15 PM
  • On Site Parking Available for small fee

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Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels
555 W. Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Driving Directions


Morgan Grabau
Forensic Mental Health Association of California
(916) 540-7460 
Complaint & Cancellation Policy

Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing. $50 cancellation fee if request is received 8+ days prior to event; Cancellations are not refunded starting 7 days prior to event. Complaints regarding instructors and/or presentation content can be sent to the FMHAC Executive Director at and will be addressed in conjunction with the Director of Education within 14 days.

Buried Above Ground: Understanding, Assessing, and Treating Suicidal People


  Joseph H. Obegi, PsyD



Joseph H. Obegi, PsyD

Dr. Obegi completed his education at the California School of Professional Psychology and his postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychiatry, UC San Diego. He is a Senior Psychologist with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation where he coordinates suicide prevention efforts in the inpatient psychiatric units at the California Medical Facility. In the community, he provides training and consultation in topics related to suicide and has part-time practice working with adults. He writes about suicide risk assessment, the standard of care, and suicidality as a diagnostic candidate. He is the co- editor of Attachment Theory and Research in Clinical Work with Adults.

This 6-hour course covers the essential aspects of suicide risk assessment and intervention. Part 1 teaches participants how to complete a high-quality suicide risk assessment, an essential first step in protecting the suicidal patient. Participants will learn a structured approach to (a) inquiring about suicidal thinking and behavior and (b) integrating this information with warning signs and risk factors for suicide. Guidelines for estimating suicide risk will be reviewed as well as how to create a treatment plan that reduces risk.

In Part 2, participants will learn about treatment options that can safely and effectively reduce suicide risk. Two interventions—safety planning and means safety—address the near- term safety of patients while outpatient treatments that prioritize suicidality can mitigate factors that drive suicide risk. Participants will be introduced to these interventions and their research basis. Finally, participants will learn the legal complexities involved in treating suicidal patients.  

Attendees will have access to electronic versions of the slides and handouts. Links and references will also be available to guide further learning.

By the end of the training, attendees will be able to:

  • Discuss suicide-related statistics and terms.
  • Describe the phenomenology of suicide.
  • Discuss of benefits of using a semi-structured interview to collect clinical data.
  • Explain a structured approach to evaluating suicide risk.
  • List ways to counsel patients and their families about the benefits of reducingaccess to lethal means.
  • Co-create a safety plan with suicidal patients.
  • Discuss the research basis for suicide-specific psychotherapies.
  • List the 4 components of professional negligence.

Continuing Education

6 units for professional licenses: BBS, BRN, CPA
CE Statements: FMHAC is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists. FMHAC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Provider #FOR005.
Course meets the qualifications for 6 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences through the California Psychological Association.