Suicide and Loss


Sometimes experiencing a crisis leads people to consider suicide. It is important for social workers and human service professionals to feel comfortable with the topic of suicide and confident in their ability to assess potential lethality and intervene with the appropriate level of care.

For this Discussion, reflect on the following scenario. Then consider how you might intervene with Paul.

Scenario: Paul is a recent widow after his wife of 45 years passed away from cancer. Paul admits that he has been struggling to manage his grief and admits that he has been having suicidal thoughts since his wife died.

Respond by Day 6 to at least two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Required Readings

James, R. K., & Gilliland, B. E. (2017). Crisis intervention strategies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

  • Chapter 8, “Crisis of Lethality” (pp. 203-239)
  • Chapter 12, “Personal Loss: Bereavement and Grief” (pp. 373-428)