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Preparing the Workforce to Implement SBIRT through Training, Technical Assistance, and Evaluation

About Us

Substance use is a risk factor for suicide. The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment-Suicide Care (SBIRT-SC) model is an integrated, public health approach that simultaneously identifies and provides care to individuals using substances and/or who are at risk of suicide.


The SBIRT-Suicide Care (SC) model includes:


  • Screening – Screening with validated tools to identify substance use and assess risk of suicide, depression, and anxiety among adolescents and adults.


  • Brief Intervention for Substance Use – A conversation using motivational interviewing intended to increase an individual’s awareness of substance use, how it plays a role in their life, and motivate an individual to change their behavior by stopping or reducing their use to promote health, wellness, and safety.


  • Safety Planning Intervention for Suicide Risk – A brief intervention to develop a safety plan collaboratively with an individual who is a risk of suicide. The safety plan includes a tailored set of coping strategies and resources to help the patient/client manage suicidal urges and reduce risk.


  • Referral to Treatment and/or Services – Connects those identified as needing more extensive care for substance use, mental health, and/or suicide risk with appropriate services.


  • Structured Follow-Up and Monitoring – Health care professionals reach out by phone or another agreed-upon method following discharge or between appointments to conduct a mood check, make updates to the safety plan, assess barriers to continued care, and schedule/confirm a follow up appointment.


  • Providing person-centered care and tailoring prevention efforts to specific populations using a culturally responsive and equitable approach.

Tracy McPherson headshot
Tracy McPherson, PhD

Principal Research Scientist

Public Health, NORC at the University of Chicago

Tracy McPherson headshot
Brett Harris, DrPH

Senior Research Scientist

Public Health, NORC at the University of Chicago

Tracy McPherson headshot
Hildie Cohen, MA, Med

Senior Research Director

Health Sciences, NORC at the University of Chicago

Meet The Team
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