In honor of World Suicide Prevention week we invite you to join us on Thursday, September 11 at 6PM PDT/9PM EDT, for a #MacroSW tweet chat moderated by USC School of Social Work (@MSWatUSC). The International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) announced that this year’s theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is “A World Connected,” which will serve as the foundation for our discussion this week. We will use the #MacroSW chat as a venue to share campaigns, resources, and articles on the subject of suicide prevention. Additionally, the chat will provide a space to share ideas and best practices for increasing connectedness between community members and vital mental health services, and ways to better collaborate between individual advocates and organizations around the world.
- What are you doing in honor of #suicideprevention week? Share your events, blog posts, and campaigns with us!
- Connectedness is crucial to those vulnerable to suicide. What early-intervention initiatives do you know that help encourage peer support?
- How do we ensure that those who are in need of clinical care are able to connect with the right resources?
- How can advocates, experts, organizations, & agencies synchronize their efforts for suicide prevention to have a bigger impact?
- What tools can community members leverage to help raise awareness?
- How do we keep the conversation going beyond Suicide Prevention month?
Recommended Suicide Prevention Resources:
- 100 Voices for Suicide Prevention campaign: MSW@USC initiated a collaboration between over 45 experts in the suicide prevention field and over 70 individuals who joined together to share testimonials, community initiatives, resources and more. This is an excellent resource for individuals seeking more information about suicide prevention and awareness efforts being done around the country.
- You Matter campaign: #YouMatter is an early-intervention campaign, which can be applied to suicide prevention and anti-bullying efforts. The mission of the campaign is to facilitate human connections through the exchange of Care Cards to promote positive mental health.
- International Association for Suicide Prevention
Below is an excerpt from the IASP discussing the importance of this year’s connectedness theme:
Connectedness is crucial to individuals who may be vulnerable to suicide. Studies have shown that social isolation can increase the risk of suicide and, conversely, that having strong human bonds can be protective against it. Reaching out to those who have become disconnected from others and offering them support and friendship may be a life-saving act.
Connectedness can also be understood in terms of clinical care. Mental illness, particularly depression, is an important risk factor for suicide. Internationally, treatments for mental illness have improved, but access to these treatments remains unequal. Primary care providers, often the first port of call for people with mental illness, are not always able to diagnose and treat mental illness. Specialist mental health care providers are not always available, so referral options may be limited. Even when services are available, they are not always sufficiently well coordinated to provide optimal care. People with mental illness often ‘fall through the cracks’, particularly – but not exclusively – in developing countries. Connectedness and collaboration between services is also important at this level in preventing suicide. The right service or individual clinician must be available at the right time for someone with mental health problems, and must be able to offer and deliver effectively the full range of treatment options.
Finally, connectedness is necessary at a national and international level. Many clinical and non-clinical organizations are working towards the goal of preventing suicide, but their efforts are not always synchronized. World Suicide Prevention Day has proved to be very successful in encouraging organizations to coordinate their efforts and learn from each other. It has also assisted those who have been bereaved by suicide in making themselves heard in discussions about suicide prevention. This has sharpened the focus on activities that are effective in preventing suicide.
How to Participate in #MacroSW
To participate, log-in to Twitter at 9 PM EDT and use the hashtag #MacroSW. Please tweet any questions or responses directed to the moderator @MSWatUSC and include the #MacroSW in all of your tweets.
The USC School of Social Work (@MSWatUSC) hosts the #MacroSW tweet chat in partnership with community practice organizations and individual macro social workers, bi-monthly on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 9 PM EDT. Our collaborators include:
- University at Buffalo School of Social Work (@ubssw)
- Karen Zgoda (@karenzgoda), Instructor at Bridgewater State University
- Association for Community Organizing and Social Administration (ACOSA) (@acosaorg)
- The Network for Social Work Management (@TheNSWM)
- The Macro Social Work Student Network (@MSWSN)
We look forward to chatting with you!