I am passionate about social work research, particularly qualitative research, because it has many parallels with social work practice and I’m able to draw on my clinical skills, especially interviewing, observing, being empathetic, and viewing participants as their experts on their own experiences.
Natalie Pope is currently working on a study to examine firearm safety and suicide risk among the aging population. This study fills a gap in providing information the impact of a training intervention aimed at addressing suicide, firearm assessment and safety counseling among geriatric case managers employed in Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). The intervention, delivered as a ½ day training, will include two components: CALM (Counseling on Access to Lethal Means) training and training on suicide risk assessment among older adults. Participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors on suicide, firearm assessment, and safety counseling will be gathered at 3 time points (pre, post, and 90 day follow up). A focus group 120 days after the intervention will provide an in-depth understanding of survey outcomes. At the completion of this project, information will have been obtained on both the impact of this type of training and the feasibility of using this methodology for a larger scale study.