Exploring the role of age and gender on the impact of client suicide in mental health practitioners

Edward C J Pulleyn, Ruth Van der Hallen

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Objective: Previous research has revealed that mental health professionals (MHPs) often experience severe, yet varying, levels of short-term impact in the aftermath of client suicide. Individual differences are significant, yet what factors help explain these differences remains unclear. The current study investigated the role of the MHPs' and the clients' age and gender upon the impact of client suicide. Method: An international sample of 213 MHPs, aged between 18 and 75, reported on a client's suicide and its short-term impact (IES-R). Results: The results indicate that both MHPs' and clients' gender did not affect impact. MHPs' and clients' age did not affect impact individually, although a significant interaction effect was revealed. Conclusion: Age, not gender, of the MHP and client are relevant in light of the impact of client suicide. Potential implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number302228221075287
JournalOmega: Journal of Death and Dying
Early online date1 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

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© The Author(s) 2022.

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