You Can't Recover From Suicide: Perspectives on Suicide Education in MSW Programs
Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Social Work
Suicide is a profound worldwide public health problem that has received increased attention in recent years. The major federal response, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, calls for more suicide education for mental health professionals, including social workers. Little is known about the amount of suicide education in MSW curricula nationwide. This study presents quantitative findings from 2 national surveys of MSW deans and directors and of MSW faculty on suicide education and qualitative findings from a series of faculty focus groups. Results suggest that MSW students receive 4 or fewer hours of suicide education in graduate school, and most deans and faculty do not have plans to increase suicide content. Barriers include lack of faculty expertise, crowded curricula, and other educational priorities. Implications are discussed.