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Educational Needs Assessment for Homeless Service Providers on Preventing Suicide

NCJ Number
Social Work in Mental Health Volume: 9 Issue: 2 Dated: March-April 2011 Pages: 92-106
Melissa A. Hensley, Ph.D., MHA, LCSW; Monica M. Matthieu, Ph.D., LCSW
Date Published
April 2011
15 pages
This study explored whether homeless services personnel had any previous experience with and/or exposure to suicidal individuals.
This study assessed the educational needs, experience, and exposure of homeless service providers regarding suicide. Data were collected from clinical providers and paraprofessionals employed by homeless organizations. Using questionnaires, 51 participants were surveyed before and immediately after attending a brief standardized gatekeeper suicide prevention training program. Results indicate that 90 percent had past contact with suicidal individuals, and 95 percent of the providers are willing to participate in continuing education on suicide prevention. Given the high levels of exposure, suicide prevention training is essential to support the capacity of homeless service providers to address suicidal behaviors in the lives of their clients. (Published Abstract)