Home / Online courses / Suicide prevention is everyone's business - How physiotherapists can support clients in distress

Suicide prevention is everyone's business - How physiotherapists can support clients in distress

Member: AUD 30.00 inc. GST

Non-Member: AUD 50.00 inc. GST

Add to cart
  • Overview

Individuals experiencing persistent pain are two to three times more likely to die by suicide then the general population. With these statistics, suicide prevention is everybody’s business. Despite this, physiotherapists often report a lack of confidence when working with clients in distress. This lecture is intended to provoke thought and discussion about a challenging and sometimes stigmatised topic, identify some of the commonly reported barriers for physiotherapists working in this space, and suggest introductory strategies or further resources that clinicians can use to develop their confidence and understanding.    



Ryan McGrath, APAM, BPhysio (Hons) is an early career researcher, completing a PhD at Charles Sturt University. His PhD research investigates the experiences and practices of physiotherapists with clients experiencing psychological distress. Ryan is also undertaking further psychology training in the form of a Graduate Diploma of Psychology. Ryan has previously volunteered as a telephone crisis supporter with Lifeline Australia and works clinically as a refugee health physiotherapist. Ryan has a passion for suicide prevention in the context of physiotherapy practice. Ryan has published two peer-reviewed articles investigating the experiences and practices of physiotherapists with clients experiencing suicidal distress and has presented three webinars on the topic with the Pain Revolution, The Knowledge Exchange and the North Coast Allied Health Association. Ryan currently serves on the NSW APA Mental Health Committee and the International Organization of Physical Therapy in Mental Health Research Committee. For more information about Ryan's current and future research, please visit www.ryanlmcgrath.com.



Sophie Shephard, MACP - BPhysio(Hons), ProfCert PainSc, current candidate MScMed(PainMgmt) is a physiotherapist who is passionate about helping those living with persistent pain. She works in private practice in Wagga Wagga and has recently established a niche pain service, Vive Pain Rehabilitation. Soph has completed extensive postgraduate professional development and study in the area of pain, including a Professional Certificate in Pain Science (UniSA) and has almost completed a Master of Science in Medicine (Pain Management). As part of her practice she almost exclusively treats patients with persistent pain and other associated invisible illnesses, and routinely works in a psychologically-informed manner with clients in distress, history of trauma, or challenging social backgrounds. She recently joined the NSW Pain Group Committee, and is also linked with the not-for-profit organisation Pain Revolution, as a Local Pain Educator and Local Pain Collective Facilitator for the Murrumbidgee region. She is a strong advocate for access to quality pain services in rural and remote areas, and is involved in several ongoing research projects in the field of persistent pain. Her recent collaboration with Ryan McGrath involves several projects that relate to the issue of suicide risk and distress in the context of physiotherapy practice.


Mental Health and Pain National Groups


Date of Live Event



CPD Hours

1.5 Hour


Please note: The content of this Lecture on Demand (LOD) was captured via a recording of a live lecture at the APA premises. Due to the nature of the event and the recording method, this LOD may not have captured some of the questions/comments from live audience. Your purchase of this module indicates your acceptance of this.