Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Suicide-Prevention, Veterans-Suicidal behavior, Soldiers-Suicidal behavior, Mixed methods research, Suicide risks, Prevention, Veterans, Peer support, Clinicians' observations


This was an exploratory study using a mixed methods design. The purpose of the study was to examine suicide prevention programs from the perspective of clinical practitioners who work or have worked with veterans in therapeutic settings. The data was collected anonymously through Survey Monkey. The study focused on practitioner observations and insights regarding increased risk factors and effective ways to meet the needs of veterans who are at risk for suicide. A total of 40 clinical respondents who work or have worked with veterans in therapeutic settings participated in this qualitative study. Participants were recruited through social media sites of Facebook and LinkedIn, and also through the researcher's personal and professional contacts via email, and snowball sampling methods. Each participant was asked several demographic questions and six open-ended questions related to their observations, experiences and insights concerning veteran suicide and requested to give their recommendations for best practice programs to address this epidemic. This study presents a rich narrative of clinical practitioners from several disciplines that worked in various capacities and clinical settings. From the qualitative data several exploratory themes emerged, which showed correlation trends among these themes. The study also provided practitioners a venue to discuss their experiences and have their voices heard about their unique clinical experiences of working with veterans with suicidal ideation. Clinical participants offered valuable insights for improving suicide prevention programs. They were: improved mental health care, increased use of peer support programs, and the need for more resources and funding available to veterans and their families.




iii, 68 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-58)