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News Items – February 17, 2015

88482_360x270-cb1423601816How Art Heals the Wounds of War
National Geographic
Why is this therapeutic approach so effective? Melissa Walker: Someone who has experienced trauma has a block that keeps them from verbalizing what they’ve been through. There is a shutdown in the [convolution of] Broca-the part of the brain responsible for speech and language. The mask gives them a way to explain themselves. The concrete image of the mask unleashes words. It reintegrates the left and right hemispheres. Now they can discuss their feelings with their social worker or psychiatrist.

Open dialogue: A care model that could put mental health social work back on the map?
The Guardian (UK)
This social approach to supporting people experiencing mental health crisis is gaining momentum in the sector but could it be the lever for change social work is looking for?

[Video] Taking a proactive approach to school safety, security
WBNG (Binghamton, NY)
Officials said collaboration is also key. “It’s like that saying, ‘It takes a community to raise a child,”‘ said Kelly Collins-Colosi, a social worker with the Norwich City School District. “It takes a community to keep our students safe.”

What impact does the ‘Good Mother Myth’ have on postpartum mood disorders?
Annette Cycon, licensed clinical social worker and founder of MotherWoman, explained MotherWoman’s support groups further: “It is revolutionary because we teach women about the oppressions that they may not even be aware of… awareness leads to choice which allows a mother to define herself, to decide what is best for her, to value herself for her own choices no matter how different she may be from the dominant culture. So much of mothers’ oppression comes from being defined by others expectations for us.”

Troubled veterans get treatment, not jail (CT)
“We see them from their worst moment in time to how well they can do with services,” said Jessica Marshall, a VA social worker, who works mostly in the New Haven courts. When she visits veterans in jail waiting to be arraigned, Marshall said, “They see support immediately. They know they are not alone.”

Study: Even for college-educated blacks, road to full-time work is rocky
The Tribune
Joblessness can be particularly traumatic for young African-Americans, said Robert Hawkins, an associate professor in poverty studies at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work. Often they have to cope daily with racially charged incidents, Hawkins said. Plus there is the pressure of living in poor, violent communities. Sometimes there is the pressure from family and friends who expect them to be more immediately successful. “You have someone who went to the right school, worked really hard and was told they can be anything they want,” Hawkins said. “Then they realize that isn’t true. … Not only do they have that failure, they have the collection of other experiences from being black in America.”

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