Choose a paper for next #swjcchat discussion 19/9/13 8pm

1 09 2013

When we would usually be scheduling the next chat for the Social Work Journal Club on 12/9/13, I’m actually busy that evening (I know, it happens – not very often mind!) so I’m postponing it a week. Sorry. But all the more time to read more articles.

I have found two open access articles that seem interesting and want to ask you, kind and enthusiastic people, to help choose what you would like to read and discuss on Thursday 19th September at 8pm BST. Also, do leave me a message if the time and day of the week don’t work well because I can definitely look at moving it after the next one. I work Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm and won’t be able to do Monday evenings but other than that, I can be quite flexible. Also, if anyone wants to host a chat, please let me know and I’ll happily add you as an administrator to post here.

So these are the papers – as it’s September and we have a new term starting soon

A) “Enhancing Wellbeing in Social Work Students: Building resilience in the Next Generation”  Grant and Kinman 2011 Social Work Education


The need for social workers to be resilient is widely emphasised. Although enhancing resilience in social work trainees presents a challenge to educators, they are nonetheless responsible for developing professionals who are able to cope with the emotional demands of the job. This paper argues that building resilience in the future workforce should be a key element of social work education. However, as little is known about the competencies and support structures that underpin resilience or the extent to which resilience protects the wellbeing of trainees, an evidence-based approach is required to inform curriculum development.

Recent research conducted by the authors of this paper has highlighted the protective nature of resilience in social work trainees. Emotional intelligence and associated competencies, such as reflective ability, aspects of empathy and social confidence, were found to be key predictors of this important quality. The important role played by social support from various sources was also emphasised. The present paper summarises this research, and presents interventions based on the findings that have the potential to promote resilience and wellbeing in social work trainees. Also considered are ways in which the curriculum might be further enhanced to provide trainees with an internal ‘tool-box’ of strategies that will help them manage their wellbeing more effectively in their future career

This could lead to some interesting discussions about resilience generally in social work and ‘fast track’ social work training.

B) Stigmas and Silos: Social Workers accounts of care for people with serious mental illness and cancer  Sinding, Watt, Miller et al Social Work in Mental Health 2013


The purpose of this study was to better understand the processes of care for people living with serious mental illness who are diagnosed with cancer, from the perspectives of social workers. Interviews were conducted with 11 social workers at a multisite acute and tertiary care centre in Ontario, Canada. Analysis showed how patients diagnosed with serious mental illness were channeled to mental health services and their cancer-related concerns discredited, and how care was compromised by the compartmentalization of mental and physical health care. The study also revealed that relationships between patients and their families were often repaired or reactivated by a cancer diagnosis, and health care providers’ empathy and resources mobilized. Theories of stigma are used to deepen study findings and to highlight the significance of social workers’ actions in creating health care environments that are less disabling for people diagnosed with a mental illness. The vital roles social workers play in clinical coordination and in ensuring care equity—and the factors that impede these roles—are discussed.

This is a Canadian study but I think the issues are relevant across the world around stigma related to mental illnesses and people’s access to health services. I think it could lead to a far broader discussions about stigma and place of social work to challenge it.

In the future please to feel free to suggest articles you find. I am restricting it to articles that anyone can access and don’t need to be paid for or Athens Access for.

I’ll close the ‘voting’ next Sunday.




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