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Advancing training to identify, intervene, and follow up with individuals at risk for suicide through research

Research and training on suicide is critical given the fact that the majority of suicide deaths are preventable with accurate identification of risk and intervention by trained individuals. However, implementing and evaluating training is difficult because of the multiple factors involved, including, but not limited to, the heterogeneity of trainees, their diverse roles in suicide prevention, absence of clear guidelines for training content across settings, and limited methods for assessing outcomes.

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Perspectives and appropriateness of suicide prevention gatekeeper training for MSW students

As the largest provider group of outpatient mental health services, social workers are at the forefront of suicide prevention, yet lack formal education to recognize and respond to client suicide risk. The Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR; Quinnett, 1995) gatekeeper training teaches basic suicide prevention skills, focusing on suicide risk factors, warning signs, and response. Eight advanced MSW students, who completed the QPR training, participated in a face-to-face interview to share perspectives of the training and how they applied skills learned within their social work field placement. Study results provide crucial information about suicide prevention education for social workers.

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Randomized trial of suicide gatekeeper training for social work students

Education and research on social work’s role in preventing client suicide is limited. Seventy advanced master of social work students were randomly assigned to either the training group (Question, Persuade, and Referral suicide gatekeeper training) or the control group. Outcomes measured over time included suicide knowledge, attitudes toward suicide prevention, self-efficacy, and skills.

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Last Updated: 9/9/19