Media Night 11.17.16 – Language Matters in #MacroSW w/ @socworkpodcast & @StuckonSW

Here is the transcript for the chat:

For our November Media Night, we will be talking about how language matters in macro social work practice, specifically when talking about suicide.

Here is a link the article for our Media Night, Let’s Talk about Suicide: #LanguageMatters:  Please read this article in preparation for Thursday’s chat.

languagemattersgreenExcerpt from the article:

Researchers have shown that even subtle changes in language can change reality (Borowditsky, 2011). Every social work student has heard the phrase “person-first” language. Instead of saying, “He is schizophrenic,” we say, “He (the person) has a diagnosis of schizophrenia.” Why? Person-first language honors the dignity and worth of the person. And although some people confuse social workers’ use of language as being “politically correct,” we know the words we use to communicate to our clients and others have power. Words can construct a reality of hope and acceptance, or despair and rejection. And when we’re talking about suicide, those words can be a matter of life or death.

#LanguageMatters are two articles featured in the New Social Worker Magazine. These covered some issues in clinical social work on the topics of Suicide and Borderline Personality Disorder. #MacroSW wanted to explore how language affects Macro practice issues.

Our hosts will be:

J. Singer

Jonathan Singer, PhD, LCSW (@socworkpodcast)  is an associate professor at Loyola University in Chicago and creator of The Social Work Podcast.



S. Erreger

Sean Erreger, LCSW (@StuckOnSW) is a Mental Health care manager and a social work adjunct instructor. In addition to his active voice on Twitter, he runs the blog Stuck on Social Work.



Our #MacroSW Partner facilitating the chat is Laurel Hitchcock (@laurelhitchcock).

Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:

  1. Why are we talking about #LanguageMatter? Isn’t that obvious?
  2. What are preferred and problematic terms when talking about #suicide?
  3. What can organizations do to address suicide risk?
  4. What are some examples you have seen how language has affected your social work practice?
  5. What is our responsibility as social workers to point out prejudicial / discriminatory language?
  6. Can slight changes in language help change how macro social work practice is delivered?

About #MacroSW:

#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:

About #MacroSW Media Nights:

Tune in for our once a month #MacroSW Media Night to talk about different social problems highlighted by the press. We’ll feature a video, podcast, blog post or article that features a hot topic. These chats are ideal for class assignment or extra credit opportunity.  For the chat schedule:

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