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News Items – January 10, 2018



Haley Neidich is a member:
Why There Are So Many More Animals on Planes Over the Holidays
Texas Monthly
A Texas company is at the heart of this crush of ESA pets on planes, part of a spate of businesses offering ESA letters to allow pets to fly with their owners. CertaPet, headquartered in League City, believes it is offering a valuable service: issuing letters that designated pets as ESA, which the company says can help people suffering with anxiety. “We think of ourselves as a tele-health company,” says Haley Neidich, a licensed clinical social worker and the director of clinical development for CertaPet. Neidich says that CertaPet contracts with about 40 licensed therapists around the country, some licensed in multiple states, who provide an ESA letter to customers after they fill out a questionnaire, briefly speak with a therapist, and pay between $150 and $200. According to Neidich, the company’s goal is to provide customers with a “starting point for a relationship with a therapist.”

Ellen Brezovsky is a member:
Westport To Host Narcan Training This Month
Westport Patch (CT)
Human Services Director Elaine Daignault announced Wednesday that the Westport Prevention Coalition will host a free life-saving Naloxone/Narcan training event on Thursday, Jan. 11. The event will take place at 7 p.m. at Westport Town Hall. Ellen Brezovsky, LCSW, Director of Community Relations at Silver Hill Hospital will facilitate the training, according to a release. The Westport Prevention Coalition, a partnership of Westport residents and professionals, is partnering with Silver Hill and Progressive Diagnostics to educate individuals about the risks of heroin and other opioid use and the potentially life-saving benefits of naloxone.

Macie Perry Smith is President-Elect of NASW-SC:
Macie Perry Smith: Training, education can help fight sexual harassment, abuse
The State (Columbia, SC)
There is some ambiguity surrounding the definition of sexual harassment. From the little girl born in the late 1970s who thought it was OK for an adult man to compliment her on her legs and her hips, to the adult woman in the 21st century who questions every male comment, look or gesture directed towards her personal appearance, where is the line? Sexual assault, on the other hand, is more concrete. From Denim Day (triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court to overturn a rape conviction) to the #MeToo movement, one thing remains the same: Education and training are needed for everyone — from the victims to the perpetrators to the bystanders to the corporations and organizations that offer sub-par protections against harassment.

Grace Ott is a member:
What will happen if the ‘what if’ happens?
Boca Beacon (Boca Grande, FL)
Sometimes life can throw a wild curve ball, disrupting daily routines and putting obstacles in the way of those trying to move forward. Boca Grande residents Edie Gardner and Tim Dumas will be the keynote speakers at a free event at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium. “How to Avoid Financial Scams and Prepare for Facing Finances Alone” will cover tips and ideas to better prepare for the future should something unexpected happen.… Licensed clinical social worker Grace Ott, co-founder of My Halo, LLC, will moderate the discussion.

Betty Struzick is a member:
MTSU best bet for local vets
Murfreesboro Post (TN)
Middle Tennessee State University has been marked by Military Times as one of the “best for vets,” six years in a row. This year, for the first time, MTSU has risen into the top 50, ranking at 49. “This did not happen overnight,” according to Dr. Hilary Miller, director of MTSU’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center. “MTSU made it look easy, but it’s the fruit of years of hard work.”… The center is one of the few in the country that has, integrated into their staff, two employees of the Veteran’s Administration. VetSuccess on Campus counselor Heather Conrad helps students connect with VA benefits and services. Betty Struzick, a clinical social worker, assists with personal wellbeing.

Leah Headings is a member:
Can’t let go: Compulsive cell phone use can cause disconnect with real life
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Smaller than a slice of bread, the cell phone holds a library, arcade, mall and a window into distant lives. The technological marvels have more computing power than the NASA computers that guided the Apollo moon landing missions. They are increasingly difficult to put down. It’s affecting how many of us interact with the real world. “It’s a major thing for the families I work with,” said Leah Headings, licensed clinical social worker who counsels children and families. “We are going to have to be careful. It will change our children’s social skills, communications skills and relationships.”

Britt Rathbone is a member:
Suicide and social media in the suburbs: A cascade of hearts, a sense of loss
Chicago Tribune
Britt Rathbone, a clinical social worker in Bethesda who treats adolescents, said the barrage of hearts – which he learned about from patients – reflects the social nature of grieving death. The concern is that while the posts may show respect and remembrance, the added layer of attention may increase interest in suicide among a subgroup of at-risk teens. “The tragedy of all of this [suicide] is [that] depression is treatable,” he said. “We always say suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Montgomery County has had student suicides before, but the Bethesda deaths gained especially wide attention. The two families have been open about the nature of the deaths.

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