This training will provide a comprehensive approach to the identification and management of patients at risk for suicide in a primary care setting and within the course of a routine primary care visit. Participants will learn the role primary care can play in suicide prevention, risk assessments, lethal means restriction and safety planning. This training is strongly recommended for all medical leadership, primary care providers and their teams.

The AAFP has reviewed Core Training Description: Suicide Safer Care for Primary Care Providers and Their Teams and deemed it acceptable for up to 1.00 Live AAFP Elective credits. Term of Approval is from 11/14/2023 to11/14/2023. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


  • Virna Little, PsyD, LCSW-r, SAP, CCM, Co-Founder and Special Advisor for Advocacy & Research of Concert Health, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Zero Overdose

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn about the prevalence of suicide, risk factors and the role of primary care
  • Participants will learn how to screen and assess patients for suicide risk
  • Participants will learn how to complete safety plans and conduct lethal means assessments for patients at risk for suicide in primary care

Biography for Dr. Virna Little

Dr. Virna Little is currently the Co-Founder and Special Advisory for Advocacy and Research of Concert Health, a national organization providing behavioral health services to primary care providers and the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Zero Overdose, a nonprofit addressing the national crisis of unintentional overdoses. Previously, Dr. Little worked for 22 years as a Senior Vice President for a large FQHC network in New York overseeing over 300 behavioral health and community staff and worked for New York City Health and Hospitals as a citywide family violence coordinator. She has a Doctoral degree in Psychology, a Masters in Social Work, a Masters in Business Administration and Healthcare, is a Certified Care Manager (CCM) and a recognized Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).

Dr. Little is a nationally and internationally known speaker for her work in integrating primary care and behavioral health, developing sustainable integrated delivery systems and suicide prevention. Dr. Little was a member of the University of Washington AIMS center and National Council for Community Behavioral Health consulting teams. She is also a faculty member for the national and international Zero Suicide initiatives and has spoken on national suicide prevention strategies at the White House.

Dr. Little is a consultant providing technical assistance to organizations and states around the country integrating primary care and behavioral health as well as an expert on the Collaborative Care model and the implementation of depression care programs.  Dr. Little has been recognized with awards from the Society for Social Work Leaders in HealthCare, National Association of Social Workers, Community Health Center Network of New York, New York Suicide Prevention Committee and others. She has served on many boards including the New York Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Heart Association and the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved.

Recent publications include Integrating Safety Plans for Suicidal Patients Into Patient Portals: Challenges and Opportunities; Suicide Safer Care: A Public Health Approach to Training Primary Care Providers in Addressing Suicide, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved; Commentary on substance use disorders and risk of suicide in a general US population: a case control study by Lynch et al., June 2020, Addiction Science & Clinical Practice; The National Health Service Corps at 50: A Legacy of Impact in Partnership with The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved., May 2020, Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved; COVID-19 Impact on Behavioral Health: Collaborative Care Is An Essential, Cost-Effective Solution, April 2020, The Chartis Group Publication; Clinicians perceptions of telephone-delivered mental health services, Dec 6, 2019, Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice.

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