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Social Work Today
E-Newsletter    September 2023
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Editor's E-Note

In recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Emily Winter, LCSW, CADC, writes about the factors leading to suicide ideation among veterans and the need for recognition and treatment.

We welcome your comments at SWTeditor@gvpub.com. Visit our website at www.SocialWorkToday.com, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Kate Jackson, editor
In This E-Newsletter
E-News Exclusive
Suicide Prevention

By Emily Winter, LCSW, CADC

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, an initiative aimed at raising awareness and fighting the stigma surrounding this complex issue. Suicide prevention is an ongoing effort, but this dedicated month provides a time to come together with passion and energy to tackle the challenges. As we recognize National Suicide Prevention Month, it's crucial to bring attention to the ongoing epidemic affecting our veterans and take action to provide support. Numerous veterans face challenges reaching out and seeking mental health services due to the negative perception attached to asking for help. This can have severe consequences for veterans, their families, and the communities they are a part of. Talking openly about mental health and suicide can benefit everyone, as even a single conversation can save a life. This month, we aim to change public perception, inspire hope, and share important information with those affected by suicide.

The factors contributing to suicidal ideation among veterans in the United States are complex. Despite the diverse demographic makeup of this population, research has established a strong correlation between suicide and untreated or undertreated substance abuse disorders and mental health conditions that often stem from their military service. Additionally, ongoing stressors like financial difficulties, legal issues, and relational problems play a significant role in this phenomenon. Upon leaving military service, veterans face a heightened susceptibility to suicide, not only in the immediate aftermath but also over the course of their lifetimes. This is due to a combination of factors, including a challenging transition to civilian life, which can result in increased suicidal ideation and attempts and a deterioration of mental health and social functioning.

Other Social Work News
Gender-Affirming Care
According to a new study, published as a research letter in JAMA by a team from the University of Michigan Medical School, changes in state laws are reducing access to gender-affirming care for teens. With many clinics closes, patients may have to travel a full day’s drive to get care.

Preventing Homelessness
As homelessness is increasingly problematic across the country, a new study from University of Notre Dame, published in The Review of Economics and Statistics, demonstrates that prevention efforts are effective.

Helping Older Adults
Forbes offers a guide for social workers interested in carving a career in geriatric care, detailing the nature of the work, the education necessary, and the job outlook.

Mental Health Disparities
According to the authors of America’s Health Rankings Health Equity in Focus: 2023 Mental and Behavioral Health Data Brief, from United Health Foundation, there are greater disparities in mental and behavioral health among American Indian/Alaska Native young and adults than among other racial and ethnic minorities.
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New Book on Military Social Work
Military Social Work Around the Globe, by Mary Anne Forgey, PhD, reviews and analyzes military social work practices, their strengths, challenges, and future visions from an international perspective. Forgey is a former civilian military social worker for the US Army and a longtime professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work. The book is coedited by Karen Green-Hurdle, a military social worker in Australia, and was published by Springer. Learn more »
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