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News Items – August 12, 2021

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Sam Hickman is the executive director of NASW-WV:
During round table discussion, advocates push Congress to take up voting rights legislation
West Virginia Metro News
Samuel Hickman was the moderator for the round table which included Smith, Cevallos, Dijon Stokes, an Advocacy Specialist for ACLU WV, Bill Kuhn, a Huntington resident and veteran, Chelsea Hornyak the Director of Accounts for 84 Agency, and Greg Whittington, the Criminal Law Reform Campaign Director for ACLU WV. The group said U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito were invited to attend or send representatives but neither did.

City Funding Inadequate For Human Service Workers To Meet Basic Needs, Report Says
Gotham Gazette
New York City’s nonprofit human services workforce – a sector of 200,000 social workers, case managers, and counselors serving the city’s most vulnerable residents – is, itself, in need. According to a new report from Win (formerly Women In Need), the city’s largest shelter provider for families and children, pay among social service workers – a majority of whom are supported by city contracts – lags behind their counterparts in municipal jobs and more often fails to cover basic needs.

Lynn Stanley is executive director of NASW-ME:
Social Worker: Telehealth Reimbursement Parity Critical for Future
Public News Service
Lynn Stanley, executive director of the Maine chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said the smaller reimbursements could limit providers from offering telehealth – even though it’s become critical for many people facing a lack of childcare, transportation or other limiting factors. “We’re concerned mental-health providers will not be able to afford to provide telehealth services to their clients,” said Stanley. “If insurance companies lower the reimbursement rate when a service is provided by a telehealth, it becomes financially unsustainable for the therapist or the agency.”

Robert Schoenberg was a member:
Robert A. Schoenberg, social worker, editor, and longtime director of Penn’s LGBT Center, dies at 76
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Robert A. Schoenberg, 76, of Philadelphia, a longtime activist for LGBTQ rights and the founding director of Penn’s prestigious LGBT Center, died Monday, Aug. 2, of cancer at KeystoneCare Home Health and Hospice in Wyndmoor. Dr. Schoenberg was so instrumental in guiding Penn’s LGBT Center for 35 years, from its pioneering inception to its current sprawling outreach, that the building in which it operates was named the Robert Schoenberg Carriage House to mark his retirement in October 2017.

Will Francis is executive director of NASW-TX:
Abbott asks Family Protective Services if gender reassignment procedures constitute child abuse
The Dallas Morning News
Will Francis, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers’ Texas Chapter, said this could create a chilling effect on parents whose children are experiencing health issues related to gender dysphoria in terms of helping their child to seek medical care.… Francis said Abbott’s letter represents an attempt to circumvent the Legislature to achieve his agenda. “This push continues a worrisome trend of the governor trying to push through his agenda,” he said. “This is not the job of the executive branch, it’s the job of the Legislature.”

Rick Redmond is a member:
COVID-19 and its impact on mental health: Part One
“We started seeing more people in the ED’s in mid to late May, but we saw the youth trends a couple months after that. We really started seeing more youth, and we’ve seen that ever since,” said Rick Redmond, LCSW, associate vice president of access and service development for Acadia Hospital. According to the CDC, during the height of the pandemic, emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts began to increase for adolescents ages 12 to 17 years, especially girls.

Cynthia Catchings is a member:
Some teachers let their students sleep in class. Here’s what mental health experts say.
USA Today
Experts agree sleeping in class doesn’t always stem from laziness, and instead could be a sign something more serious is going on. “We think about children as happy human beings that are just completing their homework at school and living a happy life, but sometimes we can see that depression can be actually diagnosed or seen in children as small as 5, 6 years old,” says Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace.

Deborah Schlesinger is a member:
COVID era brings new mental health issues
All Otsego
Deb Schlesinger, a clinical social worker who works with children and teenagers as part of school-based health clinic with Bassett Healthcare, said she has seen how the sudden shutdown was experienced by young people and had adversely affected their mental health. “That kind of thing never happened to any of us before,” Schlesinger said, calling the effects “jarring.”

Rita Bush was a member:
New bench in downtown Walla Walla placed in memory of local counselor
A new bench has been placed in downtown Walla Walla to honor the memory of clinical social worker Rita J. Bush, who died in 2017.… Bush, who earned her master’s degree in social work from Walla Walla University, provided individual counseling and directed the Family Caregiver Support Group for 20 years, Walraven said.

Supply and demand: In mental health sector, pandemic is straining profession already stretched thin by low wages, other factors
A recent news release from her organization and the National Association of Social Workers New Jersey called attention to the fact that social workers who have passed the licensing exams and completed all necessary steps for licenses aren’t finding officials who should award it responsive. One anecdote the organizations gave was of an applicant to these licenses passing their exam in the fall of last year and going totally ignored for almost a year.

Carmen Reese Foster is a member:
Social Work Coalition Offers Mentoring, Support for Black Students
The University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Carmen Reese Foster was only a week into her role with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Social Work when a Black student entered her office in tears. “She had never had a Black instructor before—not in undergrad, not in K–12,” said Foster, an assistant professor of practice and online field coordinator for Middle and West Tennessee. The student wasn’t upset. She was relieved to find Foster, who at the time was the only Black faculty member on the Nashville campus.

Kristin Miller is a member:
Social work professor to lead community outreach and wellness in South Orange
Essex News Daily
Kristin Miller, a professor in the Social Work Department at Seton Hall University, has joined the South Orange Community Care & Justice program as director of outreach and community wellness. Miller, who has lived in South Orange for nearly 20 years, will work with clinicians and students at Seton Hall, community volunteers and organizations, and the South Orange Police Department in coordinating social work, mental health and substance misuse services for local residents.

Joseph Kort is a member:
Actor Matt McGorry opens up about ‘experimenting’ with guys and feeling ‘shame’ in resurfaced video
Pink News
Earlier this year, a gay sex therapist went viral on TikTok after explaining that straight men can have sex with other men, while remaining completely straight. Dr Joe Kort, a board certified sexologist and licensed clinical social worker with a doctorate in clinical sexology, told TikTok: “It’s not a gay thing, it’s a guy thing.” He explained: “When men have objectified sex where it’s just about the act, it’s just about getting off, people man-shame him… There is stigma in male sexual fluidity and male sexual flexibility.”

Hannah Longley is a member:
‘No Excuse’: Sorry Customer Leaves $100 Tip After Outburst at Maine Restaurant
Asked about tips to de-escalate such anger-filled situations, Hannah Longley, a licensed clinical social worker and director of community programs at NAMI Maine, said there are a few ways to calm yourself down without much effort. “Recognizing you’re escalating is always really important,” she said. Other tips include “allowing yourself to take some space” and drinking water. “Water is a huge one,” she explained. “By drinking water you’re cueing to your brain or body that it doesn’t have to be in that survival, escalated mode.”

Kim Reynolds is a member:
[Video] With the school year beginning, there are mixed reactions about returning to campus
With the school year beginning and COVID-19 cases on the rise, there are mixed reactions when it comes to returning to campus. But school officials say they’re doing everything they can to ensure the health and safety of returning students. “We’re all going to be jumping in and helping out where we can to support our students,” said Kim Reynolds, Lead School Social Worker for the Kern High School District. “That’s obviously our main going is to make sure they’re supported and safe.”


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