TNOTA Offers Suicide Prevention Courses Several Times Per Year

TNOTA offers both in-person and live virtual suicide prevention courses several times per year across the state. TNOTA uses a curriculum called Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), developed by the QPR institute. QPR does not allow courses to be recorded, due to the sensitive nature of the topic of suicide and suicide prevention. TNOTA posts our scheduled QPR courses on the calendar on our home page, as well as announcements via email and social media. 

Upcoming Suicide Prevention Courses:

  • September 13, 2024, at 2024 TNOTA Pre-Conference in Nashville at Scarritt Bennett Center. Register here (limited to 60 participants)
  • October 30, 2024, virtually via Aspire OT. Register here soon (limited to 35 participants)


Suicide Prevention Training Requirements

On April 29, 2021, the state Board of Occupational Therapy adopted a position statement outlining suicide prevention requirements. 

Read the statement here

What are the requirements for suicide prevention education?

In 2019, the Tennessee legislature passed the Kenneth Madge Tullis, MD Suicide Prevention Training Act, which requires suicide prevention training for certain healthcare providers. Beginning January 1, 2020, all licensed occupational therapists (not occupational therapy assistants) are required to have a minimum of 2 hours of training by a board approved provider relative to suicide prevention at least once every 4* years (i.e. at least once per two licensure renewal cycles). These 2 hours count toward your total continuing education credits.

New Tennessee licensees and Occupational Therapists applying for initial licensure in the state of Tennessee on or after January 2020 are not required to complete a training program on suicide prevention for 2 years after the date of initial licensure if the applicant can demonstrate successful completion of a 2 hour training program by a board approved provider, that was completed no more than 2 years prior to the application for initial licensure.

In other words, Occupational Therapists will be required to complete suicide prevention training prior to initial licensure and then once every four* years (every two renewal cycles). This is counted in your total number of required CE, and is not in addition to the current requirement of 24 hours. The current language only requires that Occupational Therapists, not Occupational Therapy Assistants, complete this training. TNOTA strongly recommends that OTAs obtain this training as well.

Tennessee’s OT practice act lists board-approved providers of continuing education, which includes TNOTA.

Per our practice act (2018), the below are approved Continued Competence Activity Providers:

                  (a)  American Medical Association (AMA) 

                  (b)  American Nurses Association (ANA) 

                  (c)  American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and AOTA approved providers 

                  (d)  American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) 

                  (e)  American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) 

                  (f)  International Association of Continuing Education (IACET) 

                  (g)  Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) 

                  (h)  Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association (TNOTA) 

                  (i)  State occupational therapy associations 

                  (j)  State occupational therapy regulatory agencies 

                  (k)  Accredited colleges and universities 

(10) The Board does not pre-approve continued competence activities. It is the responsibility of the licensed occupational therapist and occupational therapist assistant to use his/her professional judgment in determining whether or not the activities are applicable and appropriate to his/her professional development and meet the standards specified in these rules.

*The statute requires this training every 5 years for occupational therapists practicing in Tennessee, though the licensure board recommends every 4 years to coincide with the rhythm of renewal cycles.