Social Work Education and Training in Mental Health, Addictions, and Suicide: A Scoping Review [2020]

Social workers have an important role in the field of mental health, and social work programs have a responsibility to prepare students for practice in the field. This scoping review mapped and synthesized the literature on mental health, addictions, and suicide in social work education and training. We found 51 articles that examined social work education in addictions (n=23), suicide (n=17), and mental health (n=7), and some articles (n=4) focused on more than one area. Most articles were empirical studies that used quantitative methods, and only one article did not examine social work education in the United States. The studies showed variability in teaching methods, format of training programs, extent to which theory and practice were linked, and the integration of culture and diversity in the programs. The articles contained recommendations to increase teaching students about mental health, addictions, and suicide in all social work programs. Studies also recommended training for faculty and field instructors, using simulation-based learning methods, including competencies in training programs that target knowledge, skills, values, and beliefs; identifying a theoretical framework; integrating culture and diversity; and evaluating training programs. The article discusses implications for best practices in social work education in mental health, addictions, and suicide.

Toula Kourgiantakis, Karen M. Sewell, Sandra McNeil, Eunjung Lee, Judith Logan, Dale Kuehl, Megan McCormick, Keith Adamson & Anne Kirvan
Journal of Social Work Education, 17 Aug 2020