Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Ande Nesmith


The purpose of this study was to examine the reactions and coping strategies of clinical social workers after experiencing client suicidal behavior. This is an important subject because social work is a profession of high stress and high burn out rates. Working with clients who are suicidal is challenging and anxiety provoking. It is important to know how clinicians are handling their stress; this allows other clinicians to learn which coping mechanisms are most effective. It is also important for clinicians to understand common reactions to working under such stress as this may normalize their experiences.

This was a quantitative research study in which online surveys were distributed to a randomized list of clinical social workers. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics to determine the most common reactions and coping strategies among the respondents. Fear and sadness were the most common initial reactions following client suicidal behavior. The coping strategies utilized most often following client suicidal behavior were consultation with a colleague and supervision.


reactions & coping strategies after client suicide

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.