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News Items – December 23, 2021

news items logo oneSocial workers are key part of solution to mental health crisis
Boston Globe
Many social workers in community or private settings also accept insurance, consistent with the profession’s ethic to serve all clients. In Massachusetts, many of the 6,300 members of state’s chapter of the National Association of Social Workers provide community-based or private social work practice. The chapter operates a free therapy referral service to connect those seeking help with private providers in their area who accept callers’ insurance.

Texas adoptees lose access to their original birth records. Getting them back is a challenge
Houston Public Media
Some child advocates argue that birth certificates shouldn’t be reissued when a child is adopted; In some cases, the process can essentially erase an adoptee’s origins, said Will Francis, the Texas chapter executive director of the National Association of Social Workers. Reissuing a child’s birth certificate with the adoptive parents’ names, he said, is a misguided attempt to create a new family. “I think an adoptive family is a beautiful, wonderful entity by itself,” Francis said. “But it does not need to erase history to exist.” If an adoptee wants to annul their adoption, Francis said, it should be an option.

Sara Van Tongren is a member:
How to Cope with Religious Change at Christmastime
Psychology Today
But what happens when you no longer believe what you did when you were a child? Or when you have experienced religious and spiritual trauma or abuse? What happens when the answers that religion provided you no longer fit? These rituals and practices that occur during religious holidays can become an unexpected existential threat. Often during the year we can go about our day with relative ease, organizing our lives in a way that does not interact with many religious practices; however, when religious holidays, such as Christmas, occur these traditions become much more salient, allowing for increased activation and existential angst.

Katherine Supiano is a member:
Managing Grief During the Holidays and COVID-19 Pandemic
University of Utah Health
Katherine Supiano, PhD, LCSW, FT, FGSA, APHSW-C, program director of Caring Connections: A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program, says that it’s important for grievers to anticipate the coming holidays and consider what plans and arrangements will work best for them this year: “No one should let that day sneak up on them and think, ‘Oh, what am I going to do today?’”

Elizabeth Wood is a member:
10-year-old PA girl dies after trying dangerous ‘Blackout Challenge’ on social media
Nylah is described as fun and bright. She spoke three languages. Like most tweens, she was on social media and participated in the recently popular, viral, and extremely dangerous “Blackout Challenge.” Doctors say Nylah was at home when she tried the trend. “She happened to be in her own bedroom of her house, with her family at home,” said Elizabeth Wood, a licensed clinical social worker at the local hospital. “But no one was in the bedroom with her when this happened, so there was no one there to save her.”

Richard Brouillette is a member:
Overcome Your Inner Scrooge in These 3 Steps
Psychology Today
Do you think you have an Inner Scrooge? The Inner Scrooge, at its worst, is a voice who puts you down, criticizes you, always expects more, makes you feel deprived, bad, and even like an emotionless object. It’s an attitude toward yourself that you just aren’t enough. We all have inner critic thoughts that can ruin our day and make us feel flawed, or like we aren’t good enough, especially around the holidays when we feel more family, relationship, and social demands.

Billie Wyant is a member:
Mental health and the holidays: tips from a local expert
The Mendocino Voice
Billie Wyant, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Medical Offices understands that this time of year can be difficult for some. “The holidays can be a tough time of year. People often have a lot of expectations placed on them, which can create a lot of stress, financially and emotionally.”

Courtney Tracy is a member:
With COVID surging again, here are eight tips to help with your Omicron anxiety
Los Angeles Times
When licensed clinical social worker Courtney Tracy talked to The Times in August, the country was in a similar place regarding the pandemic, as the uncertainty surrounding the Delta variant threatened our return to normalcy. She emphasized the importance of knowing the difference between what you can and cannot control — and accepting that.

Rachel Brewer is a member:
CALM: Uptick in requests for service, developmental delays linked to remote learning and isolation
Therapists at CALM, which stands for Child Abuse Listening Mediation, say the Santa Barbara nonprofit is experiencing a 50 percent increase in requests for service, more than any year before.… “We’ve seen a pretty significant increase in symptoms of depression and anxiety,” said Rachel Brewer, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at CALM. “The impact has been far and wide reaching.”


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