How much is enough? Suicide training for MSW students
Keywords:Suicide education, Mental Health Training, MSW education
Suicide rates among all age groups are on the rise. The most current rates available from 2015 show that suicide rates continue to rise more than 2% each year. Studies have consistently shown that nearly 70% of those who attempt suicide met with a medical or mental health provider in the six months prior to their attempt. Changes in health care provision have allowed more people to access mental health care, meaning that those social workers on the front lines need to be able to recognize and manage suicide risk. As many social workers are vital parts of health care teams, the importance of including suicide content in MSW training programs is evident. The current research employed a mixed-methods, two study design to determine MSW student response to suicide content and their perceptions of their ability to work with clients experiencing suicidal thoughts. The results show MSW students are keenly aware of the possibility of working with these clients and the information they received during their training reduced their self-reported anxiety and increased their skill levels. The authors provide suggestions for including suicide related content in core MSW curricula.
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