Stacey Freedenthal

Stacey Lynn Freedenthal

Associate Professor, Coordinator, Mental Health Concentration

What I do

I am passionate about suicide prevention. It is our job as social workers not only to help a suicidal person stay alive, but also to help the person craft a life worth living.

Specialization(s)

clinical social work, mental and behavioral health, social justice, suicide and suicide prevention

Professional Biography

Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, writes extensively about suicide assessment and intervention. Her book, Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals, contains evidence-based instructions and advice for assessing risk, planning for safety and helping the suicidal person to build hope, coping skills and reasons for living.

She has written more than 70 articles for her website SpeakingOfSuicide.com. The site has received more than 5 million visitors since 2013. She also has published scholarly articles about the measurement of suicidal intent, risk and protective factors for suicide and other topics related to suicidality.

She coordinates the mental health concentration at the Graduate School of Social Work. The courses that she teaches include Suicide Assessment and Interventions, Assessment of Mental Health in Adults, Clinical Social Work Theory and Practice, and Social Justice Challenges in Mental Health Practice.

A licensed clinical social worker, Stacey Freedenthal has a small psychotherapy and consulting practice in Denver. She also provides training and consultation to social workers and other professionals who treat clients at risk for suicide.

She has worked in the field of suicide prevention since 1994, when she volunteered at a suicide hotline. Subsequently, she earned a master's degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin. She held clinical positions in psychiatric emergency settings before returning to school to earn a PhD in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. Before she became a social worker, she worked as a journalist for The Dallas Morning News.

Degree(s)

  • Ph.D., Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, 2005
  • MSW, Social Work, University of Texas, 1998
  • Bachelor of Journalism, Journalism, University of Texas, 1989

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Licensed Master Social Worker

Professional Affiliations

  • Other
  • Other

Research

My research and scholarship focus on ways to better help suicidal individuals. Currently, I'm conducting research with Nicole Nicotera, PhD, to learn about suicidal individuals' responses to their suicidal thoughts.

Featured Publications

Freedenthal, S. (2008). Assessing the wish to die: A 30-year review of the Suicide Intent Scale. . Archives of Suicide Research, 12, 277-298.
Freedenthal, S. (2007). Challenges in assessing intent to die: Can suicide attempters be trusted? Omega: The Journal of Death and Dying, 55, 53-70.
Freedenthal, S. (2017). Helping the suicidal person: Tips and techniques for professionals. New York: Routledge.
Freedenthal, S. (2007). Racial disparities in mental health service use by adolescents who thought about or attempted suicide. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 37, 22-34.
Freedenthal, S., & Stiffman, A. R. (2007). “They might think I was crazy”: Young American Indians’ reasons for not seeking help when suicidal. Journal of Adolescent Research, 22, 58-77.

Presentations

Freedenthal, S., Nicotera, N., & Simpson, S. (2019). Cognitive and emotional responses to suicidal ideation: A qualitative study. 52nd Annual Conference of the American Association of Suicidology . Denver, CO: American Association of Suicidology.
Freedenthal, S. (2018). Coming out of the suicide closet: The good, the bad, and the beautiful. 51st Annual Conference of the American Association of Suicidology . Washington, DC: American Association of Suicidology.
Freedenthal, S. (2019). Five challenges in helping the suicidal person. Suicide Prevention Summit (Australia). Queensland, Australia (Online): Mental Health Academy.
Freedenthal, S. (2018). Helping the suicidal person: Tips and techniques for professionals (8-hour pre-conference workshop). 51st Annual Conference of the American Association of Suicidology . Washington, DC: American Association of Suicidology.
Edwards, B., Freedenthal, S., Lezine, D. Q., & McAllister, E. (2019). Lived experience panel discussion. 30th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland: International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Awards

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Appointed Faculty, University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work
  • Public Impact Fellow, University of Denver
  • Transforming Lived Experience Award, American Association of Suicidology