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RCORP - Rural Center of Excellence on SUD Prevention

Training to Address Opioid-Related Suicide Risk in Rural Communities

UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence has partnered with SafeSide Prevention to provide suicide-prevention training to rural organizations and service providers. 

Opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdose deaths have been on the rise along with suicides across the country. The strong interplay1 between OUD and suicide means suicide prevention is a key component of OUD treatment. However, rural communities sometimes do not have the resources, personnel, or infrastructure to develop comprehensive programs.

Introduction to SafeSide Training


Hi I'm Tony Pisani a psychologist and family therapist with a focus on suicide prevention. I founded Safeside Prevention to address a key challenge many organizations face in suicide prevention: how to engage and unite a diverse workforce serving diverse populations in diverse locations to think, act, and communicate with a common set of principles and practices. We'll give you a quick introduction to how we address this challenge and the role you'll play as a host. I'm Kristina Mossgraber I'm an advocate for youth and adults who struggle with mental health and suicide concerns.

As a suicide attempt survivor myself I use my lived experience to convey a vision of hope and recovery at Safeside and beyond. Hi, I'm Mel Clark. I've been a carer for my brother who has struggled with mental health and suicide concerns for over 15 years. Through my lens of lived experience I advocate for trauma informed and family inclusive practices for youth and adults within Safeside programs and across systems.


SafeSide Prevention has developed an evidence-based framework of best practices to address suicide risk  related to OUD. SafeSide provides comprehensive, video-based education and training programs to ensure health care workers, human services professionals, and their partners in rural communities can successfully implement the framework.

The SafeSide educational model combines the convenience of online video training with group learning and ongoing access to instructors. The three components of the program are:

  • Video-guided instruction and demonstration: Video modules designed for small-group or individual training that teach and demonstrate the systematic framework for suicide prevention. Always-available modules allow for flexible and convenient scheduling for workforce teams.
  • Community of practice: Access and direct connection to a global professional network to ask questions, share resources, and receive advice and feedback. And monthly live office hours enable participants to interact with SafeSide faculty in real time.
  • Tools and refreshers: All resources are updated regularly with evolving practices and the latest research and regulation in behavioral health. Materials are available on-demand 24/7. Contact SafeSide for specific details.

SafeSide Prevention provides a single, clearly articulated organizational framework and robust workforce training to inspire confidence and competence in individuals and organizations striving to reduce suicide risk among people with OUD in rural communities.


[1] Bohnert, A. S. B., & Ilgen, M. A. (2019). Understanding links among opioid use, overdose, and suicideThe New England Journal of Medicine380(1), 71–79; Luo, C., Chen, K., Doshi, R., Rickles, N., Chen, Y., Schwartz, H., & Aseltine, R. H. (2022). The association of prescription opioid use with suicide attempts: An analysis of statewide medical claims dataPloS one17(6), e0269809; Na, P. J., Bommersbach, T. J., Petrakis, I. L., & Rhee, T. G. (2022). National trends of suicidal ideation and mental health services use among US adults with opioid use disorder, 2009-2020EClinicalMedicine54, 101696.