Clinicians’ Perspectives When Responding to Suicidal Behaviors Among Latino Adolescents


Social Work and Human Services

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Latino families in new destination states within the United States face significant burdens that adversely impact the suicide risk among their adolescents. Many of these adolescents’ lives depend on the clinical social work services they receive. Little is known regarding how clinicians providing services in new destination states conceptualize Latino adolescent suicidality and what strategies they use to intervene. This qualitative study explored clinicians’ experiences and understanding of suicidal behaviors among Latino adolescents and the strategies used to intervene in a new destination state. We situate the study within the unique history of Latino populations in new destination states in the United States and how that history intersects with clinical service accessibility and delivery. Ten clinicians working in mental health were interviewed. The data were examined using thematic analysis. Three themes were identified: (1) there is a lot, (2) trying to go above and beyond, and (3) hurdles. Overall, the results highlight clinicians’ need and desire for more support. Based on the findings, we offer recommendations for addressing service delivery challenges to increase the accessibility and quality of suicide prevention services for Latino families. We also provide clinicians with suggestions for suicide prevention intervention strategies that may be received well among Latino clients.

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Clinical Social Work Journal

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