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News Items – March 15, 2017

Shane’a Thomas is a member:
[Podcast] The “How Does a Psychotherapist Work?” Edition: Slate’s Jacob Brogan talks to Shane’a Thomas who supports the mental health of LGBTQ youth
This season on Working, we’re speaking to individuals employed in fields potentially imperiled by the Trump presidency. These are the stories of people doing difficult but important jobs—jobs that may get much more difficult and much more important in the years ahead. For many, the Trump presidency has already been an emotional catastrophe as well as a political one. To better understand the reverberations of our political moment—and how some are grappling with them—we reached out to Shane’a Thomas, a psychotherapist at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington.

Bruce Buchanan, the writer, is a member and chair of the NASW-IA Ethics Committee:
Ending social worker licensure would be reckless
The Des Moines Register
House Study Bill 138, proposed by Gov. Terry Branstad was defeated in subcommittee recently. This study bill would have done away with licensure requirements not only for mental health professionals but for other licensed professionals. Mental health professionals across the state were pleased with the defeat of this bill. However, now we are concerned again because the governor stated he still believes the state should remove professional licensing requirements for social workers, mental health therapists and other licensed professionals.

Kelly Skellenger, the writer, is a member and chair of NASW-OR Legislative Committee:
Reader commentary: Put social workers back in our schools
Hillsboro Tribune
Oregon high school dropout rates are among the highest in the country, and our graduation rate is among the lowest in the nation. This crisis is shaped by multiple economic variables and contributed to by chronic absenteeism.… A pair of bills pending in the Oregon Legislature would change that by directing the state education department to hire and place more social workers in our schools.

Sarah Warren is a member:
Stylists, counselors, friends: Bill would give beauty professionals role in identifying domestic violence
Hawaii Tribune-Herald
Sarah Warren, a Hilo-based licensed clinical social worker, lauded the idea because she said it could be “helpful” to have “more people who can call (domestic violence) what it is.” One-third of women and one-fourth of men nationwide have experienced violence from an intimate partner, according to information from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. One in 7 women in Hawaii will be raped in her lifetime, the coalition says, and domestic violence programs in Hawaii serve more than 500 women each day. “Most of the people who come to me don’t really name it as abuse,” Warren said. “It’s more like, they’re having problems in their relationship and once they’re in the door, it becomes really clear. So I think it’d be helpful for as many people in a woman’s life to have that mirror to (show her) the dynamics that she may not be seeing or naming as abuse.”

Lacey Skwortz is a member:
‘You might save a child’s life’
Tribune-Star (Terre Haute, IN)
The thought of two Vigo County children with severe disabilities being neglected and starving to death “breaks my heart,” says Lacey Skwortz, a licensed clinical social worker who teaches a child welfare class at Indiana State University. “I’ve always had a love for kids and working with kids. It breaks my heart because these children didn’t ask to be born into the world, and they didn’t ask to be abused or neglected,” Skwortz said. “It breaks my heart for the kids and adults involved. I know they have a story as well. There’s a reason they got to this point.”

Bethany Raab is a member:
9 Ways to Reduce Parental Anxiety That Actually Work
Simple breathing exercises can reduce physiological arousal. Slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth until you feel calmer. “Not every situation needs an immediate response,” said Bethany Raab, licensed clinical social worker in Denver, Colorado. “Pause and consider how you want to handle what it is that has you worried. If you notice you’re worked up, do something to help soothe yourself — take a walk, take a shower, do some breathing exercises. Taking this type of break can help you make a clear decision about how you want to respond to any type of stressful or anxiety-provoking situation.”

Susan Koniewicz-Everett is a member:
Stigma of mental illness a major concern for millennials
Observer-Dispatch (Utica, NY)
According to New York State’s Department of Health, in 2013-14, of the 62 state counties, Oneida had the 20th-most cases of mental illness in adults for more than 14 days. Susan Koniewicz-Everett, a clinical social worker that’s practiced in the Mohawk Valley for 30 years, said that “the college-age group” always has run the risk of having symptoms or mental illness exasperated. In the process, the care sometimes has not kept up., a program established by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, estimates that Oneida County has one mental health provider for every 700 citizens. In the same ranking, the national average is one mental health provider for every 370 citizens.

Gabriela Dieguez, the writer, is a member:
Be willing to stand up for justice
USA Today
The preamble of the National Association of Social Workers code of ethics reads: “The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.” Since the election of our new president, I have found it more difficult to be true to the ethics of my profession.  As a social worker in a clinic that serves primarily Latino patients, I have spoken with many patients concerned about family members who live in danger but are unable to join them in the United States.

Sam Hickman, the writer, is the executive director of NASW-WV:
With ACA repeal, GOP would undo its own progress on drug scourge
Charleston Gazette-Mail
The nation is facing an opioid addiction crisis that is devastating families from all economic classes. Congress has taken steps to address the epidemic: The Republican majority was important in this effort, supporting the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and 21st Century Cures, and supporting new appropriations for prevention, treatment, and recovery. Now, this same Republican majority is attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act — taking away one of the key tools in our nation’s fight against opioid addiction.

Kim West is a member:
How To Help Your Kids Adjust To Daylight Saving Time
Huffington Post
Daylight saving time is coming up this weekend and that means we’re all about to lose an hour of zzzs. While shifting the clock forward doesn’t seem like a big deal for adults, for kids it’s a whole other story. Fortunately, sleep expert Kim West is sharing her tips for helping baby spring forward and sleep through the night. “In the days leading up to daylight saving time, slowly shift bedtime in 10 to 15 minute increments until baby is sleeping at their new time,” says West. “This allows for your child to slowly adjust without making any sudden changes.”

Stephen Karp is executive director of NASW-CT:
Once again, school health clinics facing cuts
Stephen Karp, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, Connecticut Chapter, suggested another potential consequence of reduced funding. “A loss of 10 percent in funding will greatly hamper the work of the [school-based health centers] and put pressure on other community-based mental health services that are already stretched beyond capacity for children’s mental health,” he wrote.


JPG-2017SWM-LogoWebSocial Work Month:

Ethel Turner and Sylvia Rogers are members:
Social workers celebrate at Florence event
South Carolina Now
Over 15 social workers from different agencies around the state congregated Friday at the Drs. Bruce and Lee Library for Celebrations of Professional Social Work Month. The event was hosted by the Pee Dee Unit Board Members of The National Association of Social Workers. Their theme this year was “Social Workers Stand Up.” The members of the Pee Dee Unit gave thanks to social worker Ethel Tina Turner for making the program come together well.

Janlee Wong is executive director of NASW-CA:
March Is National Social Work Month
UC Davis Health System
This year’s theme for National Social Work Month is ‘Social Workers Stand Up.’ A celebratory brunch was held to recognize all social workers at UC Davis Health. Janlee Wong, Executive Director of the California Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, provided the keynote address. The celebration provided a unique opportunity for members of the social work community to connect, collaborate, and learn from one another.

Leslie Broughton is a member:
National Professional Social Work Month recognized
North Texas e-News
Sherman, TX – March is National Professional Social Work month! In recognition of all social workers and their contributions, Home Hospice of Grayson, Cooke & Fannin Counties asked the communities of Sherman, Denison and Gainesville to issue proclamations for National Professional Social Work Month to honor those who give so selflessly. March 6, the Sherman City Council and Denison City Council presented National Professional Social Work Month proclamations to Home Hospice Social Workers Leslie Broughton, LMSW and Renee’ Griffin, LMSW. On March 7, the Gainesville City Council presented the National Professional Social Work Month proclamation to Home Hospice Social Worker Kelly Lamkin, LBSW.

Social Workers ‘Stand Up’ For All
Social workers from throughout the Walter Reed Bethesda community began their month-long observance of National Professional Social Work Month with a day-long forum on March 2 at the medical center. Topics discussed during the forum touched on a number of issues social workers tackle to help people meet their challenges and build stronger communities. These include individuals who may be experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, veterans, children, families and communities. This is how “Social Workers Stand Up” for those in need, which is also the theme for this year’s observance. Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Director Army Col. Michael S. Heimall opened the forum welcoming those in attendance and explaining Social Work Month began in March 1963. In 1984, Congress along with the White House officially recognized the month-long observance after a joint resolution introduced by Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Rep. Edolphus Towns of New York, made its way to the White House and was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.

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