Track / Certificate / Program Information Sessions 2011 part 2 (VIDEO)

The following track / certificate / program information sessions are intended for students as they plan their concentration for the academic year 2011-2012.  Requirements and specific offerings change from year to year, so always check your student handbook for accurate information.
Continue reading “Track / Certificate / Program Information Sessions 2011 part 2 (VIDEO)”

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Examination of suicide prevention efforts by GSSW scholar

In a pair of articles published recently, GSSW associate professor, Stacey Freedenthal, explores issues of suicidality in high school contexts. Given the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and attempts among adolescents, the important of her work cannot be overstated. The first article1 – co-authored with GSSW doctoral student Lindsey Breslin – looked at teachers’ experiences with student suicidality. The majority of the teachers reported that, at some time during their teaching career, a student had disclosed either their own suicidality or that of a peer. At the same time almost one half of the teachers had never received any suicide prevention training. Those who had received training were more likely to report that students had disclosed suicidality to them and were more likely to have directly inquired about a students’ suicidality than those who had never received training on suicide prevention. Given the reality that teachers are likely the most consistently present professional in most adolescents’ lives, much needs to be done to adequately prepare them to recognize and respond to signs of suicide risk.

The second study2 found little evidence of change in students’ help-seeking behaviors after the introduction of a high-school based suicide prevention program as reported by the students themselves or by the staff at the school. The one area of improvement found was students’ self-report of utilizing a suicide prevention helpline. The study – one of only a handful of community-based evaluation studies on suicide prevention efforts that looks specifically at behavioral changes – provides a foundation on which future studies can build.

1Freedenthal, S., & Breslin, L. (2010). High school teachers’ experiences with suicidal students: A descriptive study. Journal of Loss & Trauma, 15, 83-92

2Freedenthal, S. (2010). Adolescent help-seeking and the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program: An evaluation. Suicide and Life-threatening Behavior, 40, 628 – 639.

GSSW scholars Laser and Nicotera bridge the gap between research and practice

Practitioners often find work with adolescents a daunting task. This critical time of development is shaped by many forces – some internal, some external – and sets the stage for meeting the challenges of adulthood. GSSW Associate Professors Julie Laser and Nicole Nicotera have written an extremely useful guide for practitioners that incorporates cognitive and emotional development with cultural issues, all within a framework that honors and recognizes the multilayered contexts within which adolescents must negotiate.1 Because they use an ecological framework, they examine not only risk factors, but also protective factors, and cultural influences such as the media, neighborhoods, schools, and the family. Additionally, they provide excellent outlines of interventions for numerous issues that social workers encounter in their work with adolescents and young adults.  The book additionally includes contributions from GSSW faculty member Jeffrey Jenson, GSSW doctoral graduate George Liebowitz (University of Vermont), Shannon Sainer, MSW (Colorado Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting, and Prevention), Douglas Davies (University of Michigan), and Tom Luster (Michigan State University).

Order now from Amazon: Laser & Nicotera

1Laser, J. A., & Nicotera, N. (2011). Working with adolescents: A guide for practitioners. New York, NY: Guilford Press.