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News Items – December 28, 2016

Tamara Pincus is a member:
How to Help the Transgender Community Amid Spike in Suicide Hotline Calls
US News & World Report
“I think people should educate themselves and not necessarily rely on people in the trans community to have to educate them about all of the things,” says Tamara Pincus, a licensed clinical social worker and certified sex therapist.

Nancy Humphreys is a former President of NASW:
NASW Says Social Workers Must Stand Up!
Social Justice Solutions
I spoke with Nancy Humphreys—former National Association of Social Workers (NASW) president and an early proponent of political social work who created an institute at the University of Connecticut—about challenges social workers will face when Donald Trump takes over the reins of government. She said similar angst occurred when Ronald Reagan was elected and she felt the social work profession was at its peak during those years and doesn’t see why it could not happen again. She says there is no question that social workers should stand up (which is NASW’s theme for March, Social Work Month). She says there are many ways social workers can stand up.

Rachel Sussman is a member:
Here’s What To Do If Spending The Holidays With Family Stresses You Out
SELF Magazine
Whether you’ve been single for a while or you’ve just gotten out of a relationship, answering pesky questions about your love life is never fun. But Rachel Sussman, L.C.S.W., psychotherapist and relationship expert, tells SELF there are plenty of ways to handle these conversations. If you’re into humor, you can turn your response into a joke and say something like, “I’m just dating so many people I can’t keep up.” Or if you’d rather be more honest, you can simply say, “It really is a jungle out there. I’d like to meet someone, but I haven’t yet.” And if you’re looking to make the most of your situation, you can even say, “I’d really like to meet someone. If you can think of anyone to set me up with, I’d be open to that!” Who knows? One of your family friends could introduce you to your new significant other!

Will Francis, one of the authors, is government relations director for NASW-TX
LGBT youth should be a top priority in Texas’ foster care overhaul
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The governor’s recent directive to officials at the Department of Family and Protective Services to ramp up their efforts to protect endangered children in the foster care system has placed the spotlight on some of the systemic flaws that impact our state’s most vulnerable youth. Perhaps there is no population of youth more vulnerable to the problems with the state’s foster care system than LGBT youth.

Kevin Wade is a member:
Heartbreak and healing in the wake of suicide
San Angelo Standard-Times (TX)
According to information provided by the counseling center, between 1999 and 2013, annual rates of suicide in Tom Green County averaged 3.2 more cases per 100,000 residents than comparable statewide levels. Tom Green County also averaged 2.2 more annual cases compared to national rates during the same time period. “Rural areas tend to do worse, and there’s a lot of rural area in Texas,” said Kevin Wade, a licensed clinical social worker at WTCG and LOSS Team’s program director. Accessing mental health services – particularly in Tom Green County – also is difficult, Wade said. “If you need to see a psychiatrist it can be difficult to see one” because many local psychiatrists have a full patient load, he said. “It can (also) be difficult to access therapy” locally.

Pamela Twiss is a member:
Homeless prevalent in most Mon Valley school districts
Uniontown Herald-Standard
Pamela Twiss, a professor in the Department of Social Work at California University of Pennsylvania, said the poverty level varies from community to community, even within neighboring towns. For example, Twiss said according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2010 to 2014, 27.1 percent of the population of California Borough was living below the poverty level. The rate was 26.3 percent in Charleroi, 23 percent in Belle Vernon, and 16.8 percent in Monongahela. In sharp contrast, in Peters Township, just 2.6 percent of the population was living below poverty level, Twiss said.

Rita Abdallah is a member:
Reflection and practice can help with making, keeping new year’s resolutions
The new year can be a chance for a fresh start. Many people will begin 2017 with good intentions and perhaps some resolutions, like losing weight, exercising more or becoming more organized. But, after only a few weeks — at least for some of us — the luster may wear off and those new year’s resolutions may fall by the wayside. Rita Abdallah, a clinical social worker, spiritual coach and speaker, said that’s not uncommon, so she has some suggestions to help people stay the course with their resolutions.

Janine Kosek is a member:
Cremated remains stir mystery at DeBary Diner
The Daytona Beach News-Journal
Janine Kosek, an Ormond Beach clinical social worker with experience in grief counseling, said it is normal behavior. “Grief is a process and there are many different ways with trying to deal with it. There’s no one right way to grief,” she said. “Some people will wear their late husband’s shirt to feel close to the person. It sounds a little creepy, but to them, it’s just part of keeping their loved with them.”

Michele Kabas is a member:
Tips for Eating Disorder Survivors This Holiday Season
The holidays can be a difficult time of year for anyone, but a season which focuses on food and family can be particularly difficult for eating disorder survivors. “Family time brings up many dynamics around relationships and food,” says Michele Kabas, a certified eating disorder specialist and licensed clinical social worker based in New York.

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