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. 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
1. How is Suicide Prevention is a social justice issue?
2. What social factors potentially impact suicide risk in the area that you serve?
3. What are some of the barriers to suicide prevention?
4. 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 Social Media Tweet Chat (@SPSMChat represented by Sean Erreger, LCSW @StuckonSW). Thanks again to Dr. Siobahn O’Neill (@profsiobhanon) for the inspiration and joining us in Northern Ireland.
Update: Here is the Storify Summary of the Chat.
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/ retrieved on 3/19/16