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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Evaluating Homicide Risk and Promoting Firearm Safety with Patients

by Anne Dohrenwend, PhD, ABPP 3 CE Credits

The United States has the unfortunate distinction of ranking first in homicide among high-income nations. According to the CDC, homicide is the second leading cause of death (tied with suicide) between the ages of 1-24 and the third to fifth leading cause of death between the ages of 25-44. This online CE course for mental health professionals reviews screening measures helpful when evaluating patients with violent ideation. The course will address how to differentiate between benign violent fantasy and potentially dangerous obsessions and delusions. Advice for identifying patients at risk for intimate partner homicide and spree homicide are provided. Moreover, as guns are the weapon of choice for homicide, the course will illustrate how mental health providers can play an important role by discussing firearm safety with patients and by advocating for removal of guns from the home of at-risk patients.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 3 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Relevance
  • Basic Initial Screening Techniques
  • Mental Health and Risk for Violent Behavior
  • Important Guiding Studies
  • Psychopathy and Homicide Typology
  • Structured Assessment Measures
  • Promoting Firearm Safety with Patients
  • Web-based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify patients with increased risk for violent behavior such as homicide, including intimate partner violence and mass/spree murder
  • Recognize the association between mental health and increased risk of violence and make 2 important distinctions, namely differentiating between “normal” violent fantasy and dangerous thoughts and behaviors, and between psychopathy and homicide typology
  • Design a targeted and tailored assessment for violence potential and homicide risk guided by an empirically-based predictive model and the presentation of at least 5 violence-specific standardized measures and other resources
  • Incorporate at least 2 ways to promote firearm safety with patients directly, including clinically advocating for removal of a firearm from a home when appropriate and as well recognize sources for relevant legislation/policy