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.