Year: 2021 Source: Journal of Teaching in Social Work. (2021). 41(4), 389-407, DOI: 10.1080/08841233.2021.1954577 SIEC No: 20210717

Although social workers are increasingly likely to encounter suicidal clients in their practice, many are under-prepared to address the issue of suicide, and significant deficiencies in suicide education exist in social work graduate programs. This study examined the acceptability and effectiveness of a brief yet comprehensive online module covering suicide risk assessment and treatment deployed as part of a required master’s level social work course. Students completed online pre- and posttest surveys that measured suicide-related knowledge, perceived preparedness, and confidence, and rated various elements of the module. A total of N =53 MSW students participated in the study, of whom N = 45 completed both the pre- and posttests. Scores for suicide-related knowledge, perceived preparedness, and confidence increased significantly from pre- to posttest (p’s < .001). The majority of students (95.7%) were satisfied or highly satisfied with the overall content, comprehensiveness, and format of the module. However, most (70.2%) reported a preference for face-to-face or hybrid delivery methods for suicide-related material. Implications discussed include the use of synchronous elements to address student anxiety related to suicide-related content, the utility of pre-prepared online learning modules to address curriculum related barriers, and the importance of well-designed online materials.