Counselling A Client With Suicidal Ideation

You Can Help Minimize Suicide

An Experiential Learning Series in Counselling Skills by Dr Lynda Ling

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A 2-Day Workshop For Mental Health Practitioners

Conducted live online via Zoom

Cohort 1 (CLOSED)
8 & 15 august 2020, 9am-5pm

cohort 2 (CLOSED)
22 & 29 august 2020, 9am-5pm


  • 4 CPD Points

    Licensed counsellors earn 4 CPD points for full attendance of the 2-day workshop, approved by Lembaga Kaunseling Malaysia.

  • E-Certificate

    Mentalogue will provide an E-Certificate of Attendance upon complete attendance of the 2-day workshop.

  • Free Group Supervision Session

    Participants will be entitled to a free group supervision session with Dr Lynda within 6 months of the workshop.


solo registration


buddy registration

What Will You Learn?

This workshop is designed for mental health practitioners who want to improve your skills and knowledge in supporting clients struggling with suicidal ideation.

Topics Covered

In this topic, practitioners will be introduced to four aspects which contribute to the burden of suicide in Malaysia: judicial practices operate through the Malaysian Law that defines suicide as a crime; religious practices position suicide as a sin; medical practices operating from a scientific-based that view suicide as a mental health problem; lastly, workplace practices operating from a security and financial risk foundation that prefer treatment requiring a crisis intervention. The learning is aimed to invite practitioners to examine the shaping effects of socio-cultural and political aspects on counselling practice.

In this session, practitioners will be invited to discuss the skills and knowledge which they draw on to support their decision-making processes when they were caught in a tense relationship with the suicide legislation, cultural practice, professional code of ethics, and the institutional protocols at their respective employment contexts.

The topic covers discussion on how counselling theory is applied in accordance with the client’s needs and the urgency in the process of establishing therapeutic relationship. Practitioners will be invited to recognise the importance of sensitivity, flexibility and thoughtfulness in the application of counselling theory when working with a client whose potential action poses an imminent suicide risk. Other small steps include the used language and tone, active listening skills, silence and observing client body language.

A space is opened for practitioners to discuss how they negotiate professional language and cultural knowledge during the suicide risk assessment process. Practitioners have the opportunity to learn from each other the skills of using carefully- sensitively crafted language during the process by paying attention to clients’ responses and weaved cultural relevance practices into counselling to await clients’ readiness to speak of suicidal experiences and despair.

The ethical responsibility of confidentiality will be explored in this session. The issue of confidentiality is inextricably linked to counsellors’ decisions about when to disclose relevant information in the interests of preserving the client’s life and when to withhold it as a way of respecting client autonomy. Practitioners will learn how and when the disclosure of clients’ confidential information is undertaken to ensure that in the presence of risk of serious harm, clients receive optimal care and support.

In this topic, practitioners will be invited to share about how they worked alongside institutional protocols and/or other socio-cultural/political aspects to engage in delicate negotiation with clients, clients’ families and significant others, to create a community of care to work collaboratively in suicide prevention and to continue supporting the client.

Learning outcomes

Dr Lynda Ling uses clinical vignettes, videos, group discussion and her own research to invite mental health practitioners to consider what it means for your clients to feel suicidal, how you might best support clients whilst considering the socio-cultural-political setting and your organisational contexts and how to care for yourselves as practitioners working with high levels of distress. At the end of the workshop, it is the hope that mental health practitioners become more confident by learning the following:

The understanding of how socio-cultural and political aspects shape counselling practice in the context of suicidal ideation.

The skills and knowledge to establish therapeutic relationship and facilitate suicide risk assessment.
The approach to develop an intervention plan in providing ongoing care to clients at risk of suicide.
To consider professional and legal boundaries and your duty of care.

To identify other support resources.

To look after your own emotional wellbeing and self-care.

Note: Due to the sensitive nature of this training course, you may find some of the content upsetting if it relates to personal experiences. Please ensure that you are aware of the course content and learning objectives beforehand, so that you are emotionally prepared for participation.

Trainer Profile

At Mentalogue, we believe in amplifying the good work of experienced, quality mental health professionals whose care is making a measurable difference in the lives of Malaysians. We’re proud to be able to work with Dr. Lynda Ling, a counsellor educator and champion of accessible mental healthcare in her own right.

Dr. Lynda Ling

BA (Hon) Social Science (Economic) (UKM), MEdu (UPM), PhD Counsellor Education (University of Waikato), KB, PA

Dr. Lynda has dedicated her study and practice in the areas of suicide awareness and prevention. She completed a Master’s degree with her research project in suicide awareness of teachers in secondary schools. In her doctoral degree, she investigated Malaysian counsellors’ experiences in supporting clients with suicidal ideation.  In her practice, she works alongside individuals,couples, and families dealing with a wide range of issues, supports people who are struggling with suicidal ideation, collaborates with corporations to respond and manage workplace crises. She is passionate about sharing her skills and knowledge with other practitioners in minimising suicide risk and maintaining client safety. She hopes to support practitioners through offering experiential workshops and clinical supervision.

practitioner perspectives

“My struggle as a counsellor is usually with clients who have revealed that they have suicidal ideation or have attempted suicide in the past. Sometimes following protocols doesn't seem sufficient with clients who are dealing with such issues, especially those who come in for the first time. It's hard to judge whether they will be coming back for more sessions and whether I have done enough for them. I understand the professional boundaries we have as counsellors. However, we are only human and it's hard to live with the guilt if something ever happens to the client. How do you deal with this? How do you know whether you have done enough?”
Licensed counsellor
"I had an experience with a suicidal client who has been with counselors, clinical psychologists and then became my client. She was under medications too. After 4 sessions, it felt she was more of evading commitments using this thought. When she couldn't be committed for her omission of proper action, she ended the sessions. How do I deal with clients like this? It's a tricky situation trying to identify if the client is really suicidal or not."
Licensed counsellor
"I know its not really my fault. I know the deal about boundaries and all that. But when it comes down to it, how would I know that I have done all I could? This has always been a struggle for me."
Licensed counsellor

Frequently asked questions

Participants are only eligible for 4 CPD points if they fully attend the workshop. Certificates will be issued to participants.

This workshop is primarily geared towards existing, practicing mental health practitioners, including licensed counsellors, clinical psychologists, and other practitioners. If you are not a practitioner, you may still choose to attend the workshop, but the content of the program is most suited towards an audience familiar with the counselling practice.

All participants are eligible for a free group supervision session with Dr Lynda, including but not limited to topics on suicide, within 6 months of the workshop. Participants will be allowed to coordinate a suitable time/date for the group supervision session after the workshop.