ERIC Number: ED279915
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Recognizing Suicide Lethality Factors: Who Is Competent?
Steward, Robbie J.; Austin, Kevin P.
Suicide and the threat of suicide are important mental health issues for health service providers. Who a potential victim turns to for help initially and how capable that person is in recognizing the signs of potential suicide are critical issues not fully addressed by research. A study was conducted to examine the ability of various service providers to identify lethality factors. The Thirteen Questions on Successful Suicide and the Survey of Professional Experiences with Suicidal Clients were completed by physicians (N=22), doctoral level clinical or counseling psychologists (N=14), master's level counselors (N=33), master's level social workers (N=12), ministers (N=19), and lower division college students (N=27). The results revealed no significant differences in the number of correct responses by physicians, psychologists, and counselors, but all three groups scored significantly higher than all of the other groups. Social workers scored significantly higher than did ministers, and ministers scored significantly higher than did college students. An analysis of data by years of experience showed that those with 5-10 years of experience scored the highest, while the more experienced subjects had a drastic drop in scores. Only about 50% of responding psychologists, social workers, and counselors had experienced specific training in recognizing and working with suicidal clients. Those who had the most exposure to suicide were the ones who felt the strongest desire for additional information. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A