Course Description

Research over the past three decades has greatly advanced our understanding of risk in mental health, particularly with respect to concerns about suicide, self-harm and violence. In this short course, we summarise the evidence base and provide practical guidance as to how to use this knowledge in everyday practice.

You will learn:

  • How to think about risk in a way that is sophisticated but straightforward
  • The nature of key risk constructs: time-frame; likelihood; impact; magnitude
  • Why risk factors and protective factors are central to working with risk
  • What the evidence base tells us about risk and protective factors for suicide, self-harm and violence
  • How to develop risk formulations that make sense, using the 4 P’s: Predisposing, Precipitating, Perpetuating and Protective factors
  • A useful way of thinking about ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ risk
  • How to work collaboratively with your clients to anticipate the future and hence manage risk in a way that is integrated with broader care considerations

94 minutes - $87 (inc. GST)

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Working with Relevant Evidence - Lesson 1

  • 2

    Working with Relevant Evidence - Lesson 2

    • Working with Relevant Evidence - Lesson 2

    • Resource : Risk Factors and Protective Factors

  • 3

    Working with Relevant Evidence - Lesson 3

    • Working with Relevant Evidence - Lesson 3

  • 4

    Relevant Evidence - Lesson 4

    • Working with Relevant Evidence - Lesson 4

  • 5

    Working with Relevant Evidence - Lesson 5 (Summary)

    • Working with Relevant Evidence - Lesson 5 (Summary)

  • 6

    Printable slides

    • Printable slides

  • 7

    Bibliography and further reading

    • Bibliography and further reading

  • 8


    • Working with Relevant Evidence MCQs

  • 9

    Further learning

    • Next Steps

Forensic Consultant Psychiatrist

Andrew Carroll

Andrew is a forensic psychiatrist who has worked in public mental health for over 25 years in both Australia and the UK. He has extensive experience working in a range of services including inpatient units, crisis teams, community teams and prison clinics. He worked for 6 years on a rehabilitation unit at the high secure Thomas Embling Hospital in Melbourne. Currently, he works as the visiting psychiatrist to a large men’s prison in Victoria. He also has a busy private practice, which involves forensic assessment work for various agencies including Victoria Legal Aid, the Drug Court, the Office of Public Prosecutions, MACNI (the Multiple and Complex Needs Initiative), Department of Health and Human Services (Victoria) and the TAC. He regularly provides expert medicolegal opinions for private law firms, including opinions regarding ‘standard of care’ in the context of claims of negligence against mental health services. He has published extensively in the field of risk assessment, forensic mental health service provision, clinical decision-making and violence. He previously held the role of Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychiatry at Monash University and is now an Associate Professor (Adjunct) at the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science at Swinburne University of Technology. He also holds an honorary role at the University of Melbourne Department of Psychiatry.

Co Director

Brett Bridges

Brett is a practising mental health clinician, mental health consultant, educator, trainer and therapist. His extensive experience includes the specialist fields of personality disorder, acute mental health, complex care, forensic mental health, alcohol and other drugs, intellectual disability and corrections. He has previously held senior clinical roles at Spectrum (Personality Disorders Service for Victoria) and Forensicare (Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health). Brett has demonstrable success in consulting to organisational and systemic complexity and challenge, activating critical thinking, enhanced practices and key interventions that will enable a more functional and capable response to clients with mental health issues. This includes utilising recovery focused and trauma informed thinking in response to complex care issues and significant risk challenges. Brett is highly skilled in engaging multiple service providers in complex care scenarios where hostile or fractured work practices, systemic anxiety, dysfunction and paralysis have emerged. His services include: education, training, consultation, supervision and primary intervention.