Online Counseling and Suicide Intervention Specialist


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


QPR Institute

The 40-hour course leading to Certificate of Course Completion is $199 for students and volunteers and $399 for professionals.

The phase two 10-hour practice session and expert examination of case scenarios leading to a Certificate of Competency is $150 for students, volunteers and professionals.

Institutional pricing is available. Discounts are also available for international learners following World Bank guidelines.

For more information, visit

Developed by QPR Institute, OnlineCounseling and Suicide Intervention Specialist (OCSIS) is an online training program that prepares both volunteers and professionals to detect, assess, and mitigate suicide risk in persons requesting or requiring text-only communications. Learners must successfully complete 130 exam items and practice challenges to complete the course, which consists of a highly structured, multimedia, interactive learning experience. OCSIS competencies are derived from the National Suicide Prevention Helpline recommendations. Two phases of training and two certificates are available. The OCSIS Certificate of Course Completion (phase 1) requires 40 hours of training in basic helping skills, gatekeeper training, foundational knowledge and theory about the nature of suicide, and evidence-based crisis intervention strategies. The OCSIS Certificate of Competency (phase 2) requires 10 hours of mentor-guided interactive training with other learners and the production of three reviewable text-only work products from scripted role-plays. These “cases” are evaluated by a qualified expert using a standardized protocol review tool to identify more than 25 core competencies. A final one-hour interview/exam completes the process. 

The OCSIS program was developed by combining existing QPR Institute programs with materials used in suicide risk assessment, as well as intervention content from other publicationsLearning tools and skill evaluation methodologies were developed in classroom settings and adapted for online delivery. The OCSIS training was developed in consultation with a number of organizations interested in e-learning and online suicide intervention services.

Program Objectives

At the end of the training, participants in the 40-hour Online Counseling and Suicide Intervention Specialist program will have greater:

  1. Understanding of suicidal behavior, terms, statistics, and phenomenology.
  2. Understanding of suicide risk assessment, particularly as it applies online.
  3. Ability to intervene with individuals who may be at risk for suicide, particularly as it applies online.

Implementation Essentials

  • Online Counseling and Suicide Intervention Specialist participants should have knowledge of local helping resources.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 2.3: Increase communication efforts conducted online that promote positive messages and support safe crisis intervention strategies.

Objective 7.1: Provide training on suicide prevention to community groups that have a role in the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.

Objective 7.2: Provide training to mental health and substance abuse providers on the recognition, assessment, and management of at-risk behavior, and the delivery of effective clinical care for people with suicide risk.