Whistleblowing, Human Rights, and Mental Health/Well-Being: Implications for Advanced Generalist Practice

Dr. Joseph Wronka, Springfield College Department of Graduate Social Work

Keywords:  Whistleblowing, Advanced Generalist Practice, Ethics, Rights Defenders, Mental Illness, Special Rapporteur, Human Rights

Abstract:  Abstract:   The Human Rights Triptych, consisting briefly of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, at its center; guiding principles, declarations, and conventions on the right panel, and implementation measures on the left, can serve as guidelines for whistleblowers to engage in defending human rights and for states to protect them. Whereas whistleblowing generally refers to those in organizations exposing  abuses, this article expands that notion to include unethical practices, in the helping and health professions broadly defined. By way of example, it pays attention to issues pertaining to the promotion of mental health/well-being.  With the metaphor of saving victims downstream from a burning ship, this essay contends that whistleblowing, often comes too late. While important to save drowning victims, one must also put out the fire upstream. The whistleblower, referred  interchangeably here as a human rights defender, ought to be concerned about ethics, which may be intuitive, but  human rights documents elucidate.  S/he must be on the lookout for proactive measures to promote  mental health, rather than reactive measures alone. Defending human rights, thus is directly consistent with advanced generalist practice can take place at various levels of intervention; the metamacro ,macro, mezzo, micro, and metamicro.

Whistleblowing, Human Rights and Mental Health/Well-Being: Implications for Advanced Generalist Practice


Views: 1732

A Multi-Pronged Approach Toward the Eradication of Solitary Confinement

Joseph M. Wronka, Professor of Social Work, Springfield College


(Submitted to the newsletter for Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement (SWASC)


In brief, an advanced generalist practice approach means the application of multi-pronged levels of intervention to eradicate social and/or individual malaise, thus ultimately promoting well-being by the satisfactory fulfillment of human need.  Such levels of intervention can be defined as the: (1) meta-macro, “an area of practice requiring intervention on a global scale… undercutting fundamental assumptions, such as the nation state…”; (2) macro “sometimes referred to as primary prevention, an area of practice that deals with whole populations, generally on the national level”; (3) mezzo “sometimes referred to as secondary intervention,  an area of practice requiring professional involvement with at-risk populations and reflecting a failure of whole population approaches”; (4) micro “sometimes referred to as primary intervention, an area of practice requiring professional involvement with clinical populations, whose symptoms often reflect shortcomings of previous levels of intervention; (5) meta-micro “an area of practice requiring interventions often divorced from professionalism per se that take place, by and large, in a person’s everyday interactions with the world, broadly defined” (Wronka, 2017, p. 377).  Research, in turn, sometimes referred to as a quarternary intervention provides input into the previous levels to move toward best practice models.  It can be either quantitative which “uses mathematics and statistical analysis as a basis of understanding” or qualitative which is “a phenomenon-bound, rather than technique-bound form of research that attempts to elicit meaning in human experience” (p. 388).

A Multi-Pronged Approach Toward the Eradication of Solitary Confinement



Views: 456

A Policy Brief by the NGO, Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism (ADVT)

Just tell me what you think.  This group (the Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism (ADVT) based predominately in Iran, is highly esteemed at the United Nations giving help to victims of terrorism, who no fault of their own, become victims of terrorist groups broadly defined to include non-state actors but even government sponsored terrorism. Any questions, comments, and/or concerns that can contribute to a creative dialogue?


Policy Brief on Asylum Seekers

Views: 640

Please endorse the document below on Commemorating August 9th as the World’s Day of Indigenous Peoples and pass it on

We are trying to have municipalities in Western Massachusetts (USA) and elsewhere to endorse the document below to Commemorate August 9th as the World’s Day of Indigenous Peoples.  So I ask that you sign it and/or show it to your municipality (or state even country) and ask them to officially (preferably) endorse it.  Implementation can come later, but, hey, no stopping anyone if they would like to implement it now. Thank you for your attention.

Commemorating August 9th as the World’s Day of Indigenous Peoples


Views: 1178

Words of Senator Fulbright

Senator J. William Fulbright, founder of the international Fulbright exchange program between countries once said:

The rapprochement of peoples is only possible when differences of culture and outlook are respected and appreciated rather than feared and condemned, when the common bond of human dignity is recognized as the essential bond for a peaceful world.

What do you think?

You may also wish to look at his other quotes and comment as you see fit.  Thanks

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/j_william_fulbright

Views: 418

Relevance of Human Rights to Everyday Life

The New York Times recently featured an article, which said, in essence that the human rights movement has failed.  I wrote a letter to the editor which said in essence that not paying attention to human rights means ultimately not needing major mandates by many, if not almost entirely, of the world’s religions to do our duties to our neighbor.  Here it is in its entirely:

Dear Editor:

Your article “How the human rights movement failed” (April 23), shows a mis understanding of what human rights is.  Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch certainly do good work, but their emphases, by and large, on civil rights  does tend to be narrow. Rights are interdependent meaning one cannot speak about one set of  rights, such as civil rights, like freedom of speech without speaking about economic  rights, like the right to employment, and even solidarity rights, like the right to peace. What, after all, is freedom of speech to a person who is unemployed, homeless or lives in a world at war? Indeed, it was Dr. King who said “The era of civil rights is over.  The human rights era has begun.”  Saint John Paul II said, furthermore, that “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights [the authoritative definition of human rights standards] ought to be lived in letter and in spirit.”  Saying the human rights movement has failed, means that one should not take seriously fundamental values found in most spiritual traditions, such as duties to our neighbor and treating others like we would like to be treated.  If  the Universal Declaration were taught to our youth, many of the values it speaks to, such as human dignity and non-discrimination, which mirror such traditions, would be lived eventually and mirrored in socially just policies, which continue to be a rallying cry throughout the world.

What do you think?


Views: 611