Suicide Attorney Skip Simpson Speaks to Mental Health Professionals at Training Conference

Apr 2015

Suicide attorney Skip Simpson has provided legal representation to many families whose loved ones have died by suicide because of the failures of mental health professionals to provide appropriate care. Simpson believes – relating to suicide prevention – the mental health care system is broken and that implementing best practices  for suicide risk assessment would help to save thousands of lives every year. His goal is not to threaten care providers with lawsuits, but instead is to help secure compensation for victims and to help ensure that mental health professionals are as effective in preventing unnecessary deaths.

As one of the leading experts nationwide on the legal aspects of suicide resulting from the negligence of mental health providers, Simpson was recently asked to speak at a training seminar for mental health service professionals. The seminar was held in late February at the University of Denver. Mr. Simpson was invited to speak about how best practices for suicide prevention treatment can be implemented by health care providers to reduce risk and provide legal protections.

Simpson Talks to Mental Health Professionals About Treating At-Risk patients

The training seminar was attended by psychology students, psychiatrists, and psychologists, all of whom could treat patients who are at risk for an attempted suicide. The conference was called the Elevating the Conversation Conference. Simpson was asked to speak to the attendees about how to avoid suicide malpractice lawsuits while better caring for the suicidal patient.

Simpson cautioned providers that their care decisions should not be made based on a fear of being sued, as focusing on lawsuits could end up taking the attention off the patient. Providers must devote their full energy to focusing on meeting the needs of at-risk clients and identifying when someone may consider death by suicide.

Simpson also encouraged providers to avoid a “checklist mentality,” and to really hear what patients are saying. Insincere attitudes can be recognized by patients and doctors who focus on ticking off boxes of things they need to do to prevent lawsuits will not be effective at getting through to people who need help.

Over 100 people die by suicide daily in the United States, so any failure of the psychiatric care system can be very dangerous. Simpson believes there is a need for meaningful systematic change, especially since every suicide in a system should be preventable with the right mental health care. During the training seminar, Simpson discussed some of the best practices that could be followed for medical professionals to ensure they are following the recommended guidelines for suicide prevention.

Simpson also advised therapists and counselors to ensure they are documenting everything. The quality of documentation can mean the difference between being sued when a patient dies by suicide and not being sued.

If providers follow these recommendations and try to effectively manage suicide risk assessment, perhaps more deaths by suicide will be prevented.

A suicide attorney at the Law Offices of Skip Simpson can help. Call (214) 618-8222 or visit to schedule a free case consultation.

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