Update: Chat archive now available!
Suicide statistics are often daunting. According to the Center for Disease Control “There were 41,149 suicides in 2013 in the United States—a rate of 12.6 per 100,000 is equal to 113 suicides each day or one every 13 minutes”. When you think about this on the global scale The World Health Organization identifies that someone dies by suicide every 40 seconds.
These numbers are quite jarring and demonstrate how important it is to discuss this on a global scale. In the spirit of World Social Work Day and Social Work Month, we want a global conversation around the issue of suicide and social justice. The need to address suicide from the social justice perspective is explored in this TED Talk by Dr. Professor Siobhan O’Neill:
Here is a particularly moving quote: “Suicide is response to unbearable pain, to hopelessness, and feelings of failure and entrapment”
Dr. O’Neill examines the effect on post-traumatic stress and its impact on the health of people in Northern Ireland. The economic and social determinants in Northern Ireland led to continued poor health outcomes and suicide. She makes a call to increase connectedness in the community because this connectedness saves lives.
Moving from a local scale to a more global scale, think about how the social work/social justice community can bring about change. In honor of social work month, please join us and our guest Dr. Siobhan O’Neill for special global twitter chat about this issue.
We will tackle the following questions:
- How is Suicide Prevention is a social justice issue?
- What social factors potentially impact suicide risk in the area that you serve?
- What are some of the barriers to suicide prevention?
- What are ways the macro social work/social work community can collaborate with the suicide prevention community?
This chat is a collaboration between Macro Social Work Tweet Chat (@OfficialMacroSW represented by @KarenZgoda) and the Suicide Prevention on Social Media Tweet Chat (@spsmchat represented by Sean Erreger, LCSW @StuckonSW) Thanks again to Dr. Siobahn O’Neill (@ProfSiobahnOn) for the inspiration and joining us in Northern Ireland.
To join us please follow/use the hashtag #MacroSW on Saturday March 26, 2016 at 1:00pm EST / 6:00pm GMT
- Centers for Disease Control (2015) Suicide: Facts at a Glance Found at http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide-datasheet-a.pdf retrieved on 3/19/16
- World Health Organization (2014) Suicide Prevention: A Global Imperative found at http://www.who.int/mental_health/suicide-prevention/world_report_2014/en/ reteived on 3/19/16
In the 116th year of our profession, there are more than 600,000 social workers in the United States that likely passed through one of our 235 schools of social work. In fact, CSWE accredits close to 800 social work programs and many schools have both BSW and MSW accreditations. One of the reasons why social work has been called “the 21st century law degree” is because it embraces every possible super power. Need to navigate the patchwork quilt we call our health care system? Call a social worker. Need to pull together legislation to that protects the most vulnerable Americans? Call a social worker. Need to mend a broken relationship, heal wounds from childhood abuse and neglect, or overcome the fears standing in the way of becoming the best person you can be? Call a social worker. If social workers were to dress up like the superheroes they are and stand on the steps outside of ComiCon, they would probably look something like this:
For #SWMonth 2016, #MacroSW is partnering with some of the most important and influential social work organizations on social media. We are joining our wondertwin powers on Twitter to celebrate and promote social work. Our team of collaborating superheroes this month include:
- @YSocialWork, #2016SWSAD
- Rhonda Ragsdale (@profragsdale), #SaturdaySchool
- Jonathan Singer (@) and Sean Erreger (@StuckonSW), #SPSM
- American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, @AASWSWorg, #Up4theChallenge
- National Association of Social Workers, @NASW, #socialwork
Our chat questions are:
- Why is #SWMonth important?
- What do you wish more people appreciated about social workers?
- With which industries should social works develop more effective partnerships?
- Who is your social work hero?/ What social worker inspires you?
- What is your favorite social work superpower?
- This Social Work Month, about which of these are you most excited?
According to lead author Michael Sherraden at Washington University of St. Louis, Grand Accomplishments in Social Work describes a number of achievements during the last century including protection and deinstitutionalization of dependent children, the expansion of foster care and adoption, reductions in infant mortality, end of child labor, expansion of civil and women’s rights and many others. Were you aware that social work pioneer Jane Addams won the Nobel Peace Prize, the second woman to receive this prize? Samuel L. Jackson, Alice Walker, and Suze Orman all have social work degrees. Social worker and current Senator Barbara Mikulski has also been the longest serving woman Senator in U.S. history. During World War II, social worker Irena Sendler rescued 2,500 Jewish children in Poland as part of underground organization Żegota. Public health worker, social worker, and whistleblower Peter Buxton helped stop the unethical Tuskegee Study.
Join us as we discuss some of these grand accomplishments of social work practice. Here are some questions we will address:
- What do you think the field’s biggest accomplishments have been?
- Where is social work on its way to big things/big accomplishments?
- In what ways have Social Work’s Grand Accomplishments affirmed your commitment to social work practice and research?
- Which of the Grand Challenges do you think we have the best chance of turning in Grand Accomplishments in the next decade?
- What evolving skill set are you developing that will be needed to sustain our profession’s future work?
- Grand Accomplishments in Social Work
- Why Our World Needs Social Work
- Innovation in Social Work: Where Does it Come From?
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Social Workers
For our first Documentary Movie Night, we will be watching Growing Up Trans produced by the PBS’s Frontline. Here is the description of the movie from Frontline:
Just a generation ago, it was adults, not kids, who changed genders. But today, many children are transitioning, too — with new medical options, and at younger and younger ages. In Growing Up Trans, FRONTLINE takes viewers on an intimate and eye-opening journey inside the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their families.
Here is a link the trailer and the movie (1 hour and 24 minutes): http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/growing-up-trans/. You can watch the movie for free.
This movie shows what it is like for children in the US to transition genders from the individual and family perspectives. As you watch the movie, put on your #MacroSW hat and think about some of the policy, research and other macro-level issues that surround the individuals and families in this movie.
Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:
- From the movie, what are some of the challenges for transgendered kids and their parents?
- What are some macro-level approaches to addressing these challenges?
- What do you think is the most important policy issue affecting transgendered children? Why?
- What do you think most Americans don’t realize about children who are transgendered?
- What single word best describes how the film made you feel?
- What’s next? How do we as social workers address the challenges experienced by transgendered children?
#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com
As the 2016 election heats up and with the Iowa caucuses right around the corner, join us on Jan. 21 at 9 p.m. EST for this #MacroSW chat for a timely conversation about politics happening right now and the social worker’s role in this election season.
Our participation in the political process is instrumental in creating advocacy efforts and change for our clients. We also have an opportunity to position important policy issues for debate during this election and impact getting the vote out to have our voices heard.
#MacroSW chat will host this discussion periodically to focus on the intersection between politics and social work as a core value of macro practice. Our goal is to keep this non-partisan and we welcome all political points of view.
- What do you think are the most important issues for social work to be addressed this election season? (i.e. immigration, healthcare)
- Did candidates in the recent presidential debates address issues important to your work?
- Are you aware of, or participating in any get out the vote efforts? Please share them.
- What else should social workers be doing to participate in this year’s election?
This week (Jan. 21) let’s reflect on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade (#ReproJustice) and how participation in the political process made this decision possible and has positively impacted the lives of women in the U.S.
- Statement by the President on the 42nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
- What’s Ahead in the Long, Long Road to the 2016 Presidential Election, PBS, November 3, 2015
- Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) Resources and Links
- NASW’s Action Center to Track Legislation and View Election Maps
- Find an NASW Chapter in Your State
- Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE), political action arm of the National Association of Social Workers.
- Courts Are Shaking Up House Elections in 2016, Bloomberg Politics
- Dr. Richard Cloward and the Motor Voter Act
- Rock the Vote to engage young people to vote
- The Political Social Worker Rachel West