Clinical Updates Colloquium
8th Annual Clinical Updates Colloquium - January 12, 2024
The Clinical Updates Colloquium is held each January. It consists of a clinical updates session as well as a suicide prevention session. CEU's are offered at this event.
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The Crucial Roles of Social Work Practice and Research in Suicide Prevention for People Who Are LGBT+
Speaker: Dr. John R. Blosnich
Decades of research show startling and persistent disparities in suicidal ideation and suicide attempt between people who are LGBT+ and their cisgender, heterosexual peers. For example, before leaving high school, approximately 1 in 4 sexual minority adolescents will attempt to end their own life, a rate nearly four times higher than their heterosexual peers. Despite robust scientific evidence of suicidal ideation and attempt disparities, there are major gaps in research and practice at mezzo- and macro-levels and in evidence-based practice for people who are LGBT+. This talk positions LGBT+ suicide prevention within a systems perspective, including the crucial ways that data about sexual orientation and gender identity – which are largely absent – are necessary for developing, testing, and evaluating prevention and treatment.
John R. Blosnich is an Assistant Professor at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and Director of the Center for LGBTQ+ Health Equity at the University of Southern California. His primary areas of expertise are disparities in suicide risk and prevention among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, with a specific emphasis on social determinants of health. He has conducted numerous studies to capitalize on secondary analyses of existing survey data, helping to fill gaps in knowledge about LGBT health. Over the last seven years, he has worked on efforts to improve LGBT health equity research in the US by addressing the lack of sexual orientation and gender identity data in mortality surveillance (https://www.lgbtmortality.com). Prior to joining the faculty at USC, Dr. Blosnich spent nine years working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); first with the VISN2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention in Canandaigua, New York and then with the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the VA, he led foundational research about transgender veterans’ health and health care utilization, focusing on topics suicide risk, mortality, and social determinants of health. He garnered the VA’s first research award focused on transgender veterans, and served on several national VA committees to develop clinical education and training about LGBT veterans receiving health care through the VA. In addition to VA-supported research, he has conducted LGBT-focused research supported by competitive awards from foundations and the National Institutes of Health. Most recently, he is 2021 recipient of an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, which supports his efforts to expand research into non-clinical sectors in which adverse social factors and acute life crises can be targeted for upstream suicide prevention.
Many Ways of Knowing about LGBTQIA+ Youth, with Implications for Suicide Risk Assessment
Speaker: Dr. Geoffrey Ream
Good social work requires understanding how clients and client populations understand themselves – i.e., their discourse – and the discourse around lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/aromantic, and other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQIA+) youth has changed dramatically in recent decades. It has always been inextricably and uneasily connected with antiracism and social justice, and it has evolved over time in its relationship to psychiatric diagnosis, quantitative social science research, feminism, public health, spirituality, conservative thought, neurodiversity, and suicide risk. Meanwhile, pandemic pressures on schools, newer forms of social media, and normalization of youths’ being extremely online have created opportunities, problems, and pivots that we are only beginning to understand. This presentation will utilize social work’s many ways of knowing to survey past and present discourse about LGBTQIA+ youths’ experience. It will equip social workers to talk to any LGBTQIA+ young person like a friend and ally and assess their suicide risk and other aspects of their lives based on an informed understanding of their history, argot, and positionality.
Geoffrey Ream is a Professor at the Adelphi University School of Social Work. He was a founding board member of New Alternatives, which is an organization serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/aromantic, and other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQIA+) homeless youth in New York City. For seven years, he served as volunteer staff and evaluation consultant to New Alternatives and also Sylvia’s Place, a shelter in NYC serving mostly urban poor LGBTQIA+ youth of color. He helped secure initial grant funding for Trinity Place, a transitional living program for LGBTQIA+ youth in NYC. His National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded postdoctoral work focused on youth marijuana use, including racial disparities in police stop/search and arrest, and he was co-Principal Investigator of a NIH Research Project (R01) grant on youth problem media use. He has authored or co-authored highly-cited papers on LGBTQIA+ issues with coming out, identity development, religion, homelessness, and suicide. His most recent work involves secondary analysis of the Centers for Disease Control’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). During Summer 2020, he served on the Public Health & Safety Working Group of Restart and Reimagine Adelphi, helping adapt his school to the exigencies of pandemic and post-pandemic operation. His current research interests are in asexual/aromantic discourses and the internet-based identity movement around them (his own labels are lithromantic and demisexual), and in anti-LGBTQIA+ discourses in American religion and their implications for practice with LGBTQIA+ persons.
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SUSTAINABLE LENDING LIBRARY
The Department of Social Work is working to develop a Sustainable Lending Library that will facilitate access to educational materials/resources throughout social work students’ educational career. The library will be operated through the department and provide a lending service of essential educational materials to our students.