Sunday, September 10, 2017

Engaging People At Risk for Suicide: Interview with Dana Alonzo, Ph.D.

[Episode 111] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is about engaging people who are suicidal into professional mental health services. I spoke with Dr. Dana Alonzo from Fordham University. We talked about some of the reasons why people might not want to seek professional mental health services when they are suicidal, and some of the things that mental health professionals do to make it hard for folks to want to stay in treatment. Dana sees this as a problem of engagement. She described the process of how she developed her intervention and what it entails. She ends with some tips on how to improve engagement in treatment for anyone, regardless of suicide risk.

Download MP3 [36:33]

If you’re feeling suicidal, please talk to somebody. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255; the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860; or the Trevor Project at 866-488- 7386. Text “START” to Crisis Text Line at 741-741. If you don’t like the phone, consider using the Lifeline Crisis Chat at

References and Resources

APA (6th ed) citation for this podcast:

Singer, J. B. (Producer). (2017, September 10). #111 - Engaging People At Risk for Suicide: Interview with Dana Alonzo, Ph.D. [Audio Podcast]. Social Work Podcast. Retrieved from


Herbbob said...

Very interesting and informative.

Jo-Anne Sutherland said...

I enjoyed this podcast but found it rather unsettling that many Clinicians view people who are suicidal in such a poor light. Clients can pick up when they are being judged and it astonishes me that social workers who are bound by a code of ethics, of which having a non-judgemental attitude are not being helpful for clients. It's important that we incorporate a real, genuine engagement and not just tick off the boxes.