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News Items – December 9, 2021

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Stephen Wanczyk-Karp is executive director of NASW-CT:
Ways to address the pandemic’s impact on children’s behavioral health
CT Mirror
Covid-19 has brought on a behavioral health tsunami, a crisis in the brewing even before the pandemic. The effects on children’s health and mental health will be long-term. Children who have had Covid may become long haulers with both physical and behavioral health problems lasting years, or a lifetime. The solutions being sought must address both the immediacy of the crisis and the long-term needs.

Psych and Stuff: Creating Hope in our Schools: School Social Work (w/ Melanie Brick)
University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
In this episode, we talk with Unified School District of De Pere School Social Worker (and UW-Green Bay Psychology alum) Melanie Brick about the many ways she and her fellow school social workers bring hope to students so they can thrive at school. Ryan and Georjeanna learn about the many behind-the-scenes jobs that social workers do and how Melanie supports students, including programming funded by a DPI mental health grant like the Hope Squad (a suicide prevention program).

People go to libraries for more than books. That’s why some are hiring social workers
Yanna McGraw has a unique role at the Indianapolis Public Library. She’s the library’s first full-time social worker – one of about a dozen employed by libraries across the Midwest. The library hired McGraw because it was seeing more patrons dealing with complex issues. She’s only been on the job for four months, but McGraw has already worked with library guests dealing with issues like: housing insecurity, difficulty accessing federal stimulus money and challenges finding mental health services.

Hortense McClinton is a social work pioneer:
Names of two Tar Heel trailblazers selected for buildings
The Well
A residence hall and the Student Affairs office building will bear the names of two trailblazing Tar Heels: Hortense McClinton and Henry Owl, the University announced today. Upon the recommendation of Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, the University’s Board of Trustees honored McClinton and Owl with a vote Nov. 4 to add their names to two buildings whose names were removed in July 2020. McClinton Residence Hall replaces the former Aycock Residence Hall, while Henry Owl Building is the new name for the former Carr Building.

Gov. Wolf: Law Enforcement, Domestic Violence, Minority, Family Advocacy Organizations Support Veto of Bill that Endangers Pennsylvania Lives
Governor Tom Wolf
“Social workers see first-hand the repercussions of gun violence on its victims, the families and loved ones left behind, and the impacted communities. The consequences are detrimental to the overall mental and physical health of the Commonwealth. Facing this unprecedented public health crisis, Pennsylvania should be strengthening our gun violence prevention policies rather than reducing or eliminating our existing measures to protect the public from harm,” said Johanna Byrd, Executive Director, National Association of Social Workers, Pennsylvania Chapter.

Alison Mohr Boleware is government relations director for NASW-TX:
[Video] One in three teens report feeling of hopelessness about future
Valley Central News
While the pandemic has contributed to an increase in mental health issues in teens, it has also expanded access to mental health resources and allowed mental healthcare professionals to reach more people. “Some of the flexibilities from the COVID-19 pandemic have helped them be able to serve more clients and get services to them more quickly through telehealth,” said Alison Mohr Boleware, who represented the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers during the conference.

Beshear announces pay raises, hiring changes for social workers
Beshear said he met with community stakeholders and Brenda Rosen, executive director of the Kentucky Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, to discuss the challenges facing social workers and what changes would have to be made in order to recruit more to the profession and keep current social workers from leaving the field.

‘You can’t staff for that’: Chaos looming for millions restarting their student loan payments
The Hechinger Report
The administration has authorized more than $10 billion in cancellations through approved borrower-defense-to-repayment claims, total and permanent disability discharges, and the waiving of certain requirements for the public service loan forgiveness program. But those cancellations cover less than 1 percent of total student loan debt. The waivers also leave other issues with public service loan forgiveness unresolved. For example, certain borrowers, such as social workers, do not currently qualify unless their direct employer is a nonprofit, according to Sarah Butts, director of public policy at the National Association of Social Workers. “Even just cancellation at $10,000 would help a lot of social workers,” said Butts. “These are the individuals that were on the frontline during the pandemic.”

Donna Fish is a member:
Covid and Coping
Psychology Today
The Covid pandemic has brought an ever-changing landscape of variants—and with each of them, new uncertainties to which we are forced to adapt. Old normal is not coming back; we have a new normal. The challenges of adapting to an ever-changing landscape, however, are not new. They are the same challenges we have evolved to meet over time as a species. Humans have always had to adapt to changing environments provoking uncertainty, unpredictability, and threats to survival.

Mika Celli is a member:
City of South San Francisco Welcomes Licensed Mental Health Clinician to Assist with 911 Calls
Mika Celli, a licensed clinical social worker, has joined the City of South San Francisco as a full-time mental health clinician to assist the Police Department with mental health-related calls by providing appropriate, compassionate care involving non-violent individuals. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. Concerns are growing regarding its long-term impact on mental health all across the Country.

Gabrielle Zhuang-Estrin is a member:
[Audio] The problem with ‘you can sleep when you’re dead’ mindsets
Blue Ridge Public Radio
Host Anita Rao talks with clinical social worker and psychotherapist Gabrielle Zhuang-Estrin about the evolution of her relationship to rest, and how she helps clients with theirs. Rao also talks with Dom Chatterjee, a yoga and meditation teacher of South Asian descent and the community organizer behind Rest for Resistance, a platform for sharing art, writing and mental health resources for people of color.

Katherine Compitus is a member:
Social Work Stresses Companionship in the Human-Animal Bond
Psychology Today
I work closely with the Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) that’s housed in the Graduate School of Social Work at Denver University, so I was pleased to read Dr. Katherine Compitus’ new book The Human-Animal Bond in Clinical Social Work Practicein which the human-animal bond is described as a dynamic, mutually beneficial relationship between people and the animals they care for. l learned a lot from Kathy’s book and here’s what she had to say about how people in crisis can also care for their companion animals.

Sheryl Neverson is a member:
Training teaches teens to turn social media negatives into positives
The Washington Post
News cycles of recent years that featured the slayings of rappers like Young Dolph in targeted street attacks, as well as the killings of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, are among the stream of content that can cause harm to those who experience it on social media, said Dr. Sheryl Neverson, a Bowie area clinical social worker and consultant, who spoke to the teens about understanding trauma.

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