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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “approximately 1 million die by suicide in the world every year and it is estimated that 1.5 million will die from suicide in 2020.”To many in the social work field feels this is disturbing news that deserves far more attention both by the academics and the mass-media. This study pertains to the applications of social capital theory and its everyday practice in the social work profession. In particular, the study provides a deeper understanding and review of social capital, suicide and its application of social capital theory in the social work practice with the major goals being prevention of suicide, both micro and macro. For the most part, suicide appears to be an intimately individualistic act. Sociologists, however, often regard variation in suicide rates as a social phenomenon. The initial ideas and work of Durkheim have long formed the basis for many sociological studies of suicide with a strong reference to Durkheim theories of how social factors influence suicide rates that have received substantial empirical support. However, a more contemporary version of Durkheim’s regulation/integration thesis is the theory of social capital developed by Robert Putnam. Along with Putnam, Sociologist defines social capital to the stock of trust, civic engagement and norms of reciprocity existing in a community that allow collective actions to occur. Communities are higher in social capital when their residents are generally more trusting, more co-operative and more engaged in community life. Many recent studies, especially those in the public health literature, have examined the relationship between social capital and mental health. High levels of social capital are associated with lower mortality and with fewer accidents and suicides, though suicide research continues to be limited on its direct connection to social capital. Along these lines, research is also limited in social work education and far more extensive studies are in great need. Some studies in social work education shows that education in suicide prevention and intervention in social work graduate programs are little; yet social workers’ experiences and attitudes regarding suicide education are limited and in some cases, unknown. Therefore, this paper will make an in-depth comprehension of social capital theory and how it could be used in social work education programs in order to prevent suicide.

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