In the early 2000s, I worked in community mental health in Portland, Oregon. I had the privilege of working with this amazing psychiatrist, Dr. Phil Shapiro, on an Assertive Community Treatment team. You can read an article about him here (on his website) or here (an article from the Oregonian, 2010).
At the time, he was working on this book called Healing Power: Ten Steps to Pain Management and Spiritual Evolution. He had groups that he did with clients in both community mental health and in the regular community (I attended!), all based on the program he outlined in his book.
He recently shared that his book and the subsequent workbook he published, are available for FREE from his new website. The books are available for download in text or audio format. What a gift! Please check out his new website to take a look and download these gems.
Thank you Dr. Shapiro, for your years of service and for making this work available to everyone!
The election is over. I'm sure that most of us are glad about that, regardless of how we feel about the outcome. I'm sure that many of us are trying to process what this campaign stirred up for us, and wondering if and how this nation can heal.
As a social worker, I love that I have a professional Code of Ethics to guide me. This Code of Ethics includes core values that guide me in my work and in my personal life. Social work's core values include service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, the importance of relationships, integrity, and competence.
What might social work have to say about all of these current events?
The National Association of Social Workers just put out a statement on the election of Mr. Trump. I post it here.
My final thought is a quote that I often remember, "We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness." by Thich Nhat Hanh
NASW Statement on Donald J. Trump Election as 45th U.S. President
Association urges President-Elect to help heal divisiveness, trauma from his campaign
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) congratulates Donald J. Trump on his election to become the 45th president of the United States.
The Association is deeply concerned by statements Mr. Trump has made regarding women, people of color and immigrants. At the same time, we acknowledge we must work with the new administration to address pressing issues of the day, including justice reforms, racial and gender inequality, access to health care for all, and helping more Americans achieve economic self-sufficiency and stability.
The NASW Code of Ethics makes clear the importance of social justice. We cannot support any efforts to marginalize or oppress any group of people, and will always work to assure that human rights extend to everyone. Social workers continue to strongly advocate for our country’s most vulnerable populations.
President-Elect Trump has said he is committed to restoring economic prosperity to the United States, helping more Americans afford care for their children and relatives who are older adults, and providing more services to our nation’s brave veterans and their families. We hope to build on these commonalities to move our country forward and will hold Mr. Trump accountable for his promises.
We also urge Mr. Trump and his administration to help heal the divisiveness and trauma his campaign has caused among some communities and populations. NASW, the largest professional social work association in the world with more than 125,000 members, is ready to help ensure these actions are done in a socially responsible and unifying manner.
NASW firmly supports our nation’s efforts to move forward in a positive way that acknowledges the inherent dignity and worth of all people. Specifically, NASW will work to ensure that President-Elect Trump appoints justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and judges to the Circuit Courts of Appeals and lower Federal District Courts who come from diverse gender and ethnic backgrounds and will protect the rights of all citizens.
Lastly, NASW congratulates Democrat nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton for her years of service. Mrs. Clinton has a long history of working for positive social change in areas of importance to social workers, including health care reform; the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; reproductive rights for women; racial justice and equal rights for people who are LGBT.
We share Mrs. Clinton’s hope for the future. Everyone deserves the chance to pursue and achieve their dreams.
As Mrs. Clinton said in her concession speech, “let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear; making our economy work for everyone not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet and breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.”
You read it right. 1 million people die of suicide each year. In the United States, the number is 30,000. Each year in the United States, 1 million people are treated for suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
In this post, I would like to tell you a little bit about suicide and how you or your loved one can get help if struggling with suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
There are different levels of suicidality ranging from passive thoughts to a lethal plan with intent. If you or someone you love has a plan to commit suicide and intend to carry it out, this is a psychiatric emergency. Please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you live in this area, the nearest emergency room that can assist you is at Salem Hospital.
If you have a loved one who is suicidal but doesn't want to or cannot get help on their own, you may call the police and ask for a welfare check. Tell the police as much detail as you can about your loved one's plan and intent. In order for the police to take your suicidal loved one to the hospital, they must believe your loved one to be in imminent danger (ie, will not survive the next 24 hours unless they intervene).
If you or your loved one is suicidal but without a lethal plan or intent, you may go to the Psychiatric Crisis Center in Salem for assistance.
If you have struggled with suicidal thoughts and behaviors, you know that these thoughts and behaviors come and go. If you are not currently dealing with a psychiatric emergency, you may find this app, called Safety Plan, helpful. The goal is to be able to do something you know might be helpful until the suicidal thoughts pass. Please check it out! They have different versions for iphone and android.
Finally, a word about people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Most people who have these thoughts and behaviors don't actually want to die. They simply want to end the pain they are in and see no other way to do so. Judging is not helpful. Offering options or being willing to talk about suicide is helpful. Sometimes people are afraid to bring up the topic of suicide, thinking they may give ideas to the one they fear to be suicidal. This is not the case. Talking about it is helpful and you are not going to put any ideas into your suicidal loved one's head that they haven't already had themselves.
If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact me, via my website, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or phone (503-874-4374).
Amber is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She offers counseling for individual adults and clinical supervision for social workers. For fun, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, researching genealogy, reading, and dragon boating.
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