Client suicide refers to cases where a mental health practitioner is exposed, affected, or bereaved by a client's suicide and is known to have a profound impact on MHPs. The current study investigated the role of coping styles in understanding short- and long-term impact of client suicide. An international sample of 213 mental health practitioners who experienced a client suicide completed a survey on coping strategies (i.e., Brief-COPE) and the impact of traumatic events (i.e., impact of event scale-revised, long-term emotional impact scale and professional practice impact scale). Results indicate coping strategies explain 51% of the short-term, 64% of the long-term emotional and 55% of the long-term professional differences in impact of client suicide. Moreover, while an Avoidant coping style predicted more impact of client suicide, Positive coping and Humor predicted less impact of client suicide. Social Support coping did not predict impact of client suicide. Implications for both research and clinical practice are discussed.
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