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Our Story: CAMS-care Suicide Risk Assessment & Prevention Training Framework

David Jobes begin his research in suicide prevention in the early 1980’s as a graduate student at American University. His professional career began in 1987 in the Counseling Center of The Catholic University of America where he endeavored to develop a valid and reliable suicide risk assessment tool and tracking method to ensure that the university’s suicidal students didn’t “fall through the cracks.” This line of clinical research over 30 years led to the development of the Suicide Status Form (SSF) and subsequent development of the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality. For over 30 years, David Jobes has trained thousands of mental health professionals in the assessment of suicide risk and the use of CAMS.


“My mother took her life when I was thirteen years old. I believe that if a mental health provider trained in CAMS had worked with her, my mother’s life could have been saved.” Colleen Kelly


What We Know From Live Training

  • While evaluations from live didactic training in CAMS are usually very high, overwhelmingly such training does not lead to clinicians changing their behaviours. This observation is often true for many types of didactic clinical practice training. To save lives, clinical behaviours have to change.
  • Integrated training in content, role-playing, and clinical consultation is required to effectively change clinical behaviours.  CAMS-care endeavours to provide adherent training to every mental health professional–and systems of care–seeking an evidence-based approach to suicidal risk. We have used the CAMS Integrated Training approach since the Autumn of 2016 based on the best selling second edition of Managing Suicidal Risk, A Collaborative Approach.
“Dr. Jobes and the CAMS-care team provide the most cutting-edge, evidence-based suicide risk-assessment and treatment framework for clinicians, counselors, social workers, and other relevant professionals. Our Ohio CAMS-trained behavioral health professionals are now equipped with the skills and documentation necessary to create an effective safety plan which can potentially keep the client out of the hospital. In addition, the CAMS consultants are very professional, easy to work with, and flexible when planning for an in-person CAMS workshop. The post-training supervision calls provide our clinicians with a chance to troubleshoot with the CAMS consultant and other CAMS-trained professionals on incorporating the framework in the workplace.” Austin Lucas

Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation

Our Mission

Our mission is to research, train, consult, develop technology, and provide cutting-edge leadership and related professional services in an evidence-based approach for suicide prevention in clinical settings and larger health care systems.

Our Motto: Best Possible Care

We believe to save lives every patient deserves to receive the Best Possible Care that is evidence-based and suicide-specific. 

CAMS is not the only evidence-based ‘Best Possible Care’ for the assessment and treatment of suicidal risk. There are other excellent treatments that also effectively treat suicide risk: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT for self harm) and two forms of suicide-specific cognitive-behavioural therapy: Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CT-SP) and Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (BCBT). Whatever treatment approach a mental health professional chooses to follow, it is critical that the treatment specifically treats suicidality and is proven effective through randomised clinical trial research and research replication.

Although there are many well-intended clinical interventions for suicide available, unless they are based on a foundation of randomised controlled trials and replication, it is unknown if they are effective for managing and treating suicide risk, particularly across a wide range of service users and clinical settings. Given the life and death implications, every service user(and their family) deserves to receive the Best Possible Care that is suicide-specific.

“The CAMS model and training tools have very quickly helped us to feel more confident and prepared to manage risky patients. Assessment and treatment in these cases are often confusing, and we have benefitted greatly from the structure of the CAMS approach, which has helped us on a case by case basis to understand the phenomenon of suicide risk and organize our treatment approach. I have yet to find a comparable framework that is as accessible to clinicians and yet so robust.” Eric Lewandowski

NYU Langone

“The product works wonderfully to help persons with thoughts of suicide to organize and focus to complete the forms. We are experiencing very good reception to CAMS within our service area, for example, school districts, tribal behavioral health agencies, local behavioral agencies and others in private practice. We have provided workshops since 2015 and hope to continue being a resource provider in Northern Arizona.” Brenda