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News Items – March 2, 2023

Chris McLaughlin is executive director of NASW-ME:
Social Work Breaks Barriers
Telehealth Certification Institute
Every year, the month of March is recognized as Social Work Month. Social Work Month is a time to not only honor the past achievements and successes in the field but also to serve as a call to action for the work ahead of us still left to do. The 2023 theme for Social Work Month is “Social Work Breaks Barriers”. Every day, social workers, and our allied health professional colleagues, help to break down barriers that prevent people from living more enriched, fulfilling lives. In addition to the direct services we provide to individuals, families, couples, and groups, we also work to advocate at a systems level to ensure that laws and policies are adopted so everyone can live safely and to their fullest potential. 

Anthony Estreet is executive director of NASW:
VCU grad pushing profession forward as leader of National Association of Social Workers
VCU News
As the new chief executive officer of the National Association of Social Workers, Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus Anthony Estreet, Ph.D., is looking to re-engage social workers – and future social workers and their faculty. “We are in that space between challenge and opportunity as social workers,” said Estreet, who was announced as CEO in early January and assumed his duties in early February. “If we embrace and fully come together as one profession and break down silos, we can continue to make a lot of change and good trouble in terms of addressing challenges we see.”

Stephen Wanyczyk-Karp is executive director of NASW-CT:
Connecticut lawmakers consider paid mental health days for workers
Bronx News 12
It’s part of a wide-ranging package proposed by state Senate Democrats that also includes more suicide screenings in school, easier licensing for social workers and a new “behavioral health advocate” to resolve insurance disputes. “Thirty-three percent of our members had to wait over 30 minutes just to talk to someone in an insurance company,” said Stephen Wanyczyk-Karp, the Connecticut chapter president of the National Association of Social Workers. “Seventy-six percent of providers have to contact a company multiple times to resolve an issue.”

Mental Health Advocates Question Records Sharing on State’s Health Information Exchange
CT Examiner
But Steven Wanczyk-Karp, director of the Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, told CT Examiner that behavioral health providers felt that providing data to the Connie system conflicted with their profession’s code of ethics. “Confidentiality is something that our profession makes as a core principle,” said Wanczyk-Karp. “Even just turning over your client list, in our opinion, is a breach of confidentiality.” 

Mirean Coleman is clinical practice director of NASW:
Is a master’s degree in social work worth it?
Fortune Magazine
Being a mental health provider or substance use provider are “very good areas for social workers to focus on right now,” Mirean Coleman, clinical director at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), tells Fortune. “Although we’re producing a lot of social workers for mental health and substance use services, the demand is so high that we’re not able to meet that demand.”

Emily Hemendinger is a member of NASW-CO:
Can ChatGPT and TikTok Fads Hurt People Struggling with Eating Disorders?
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
For eating disorder experts, where everything from chatbot misdiagnoses to AI-generated body images can have devasting consequences for their patients, the concerns are high. Below, Laura Kelley, media relations professional in the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Office of Communications, speaks with Emily Hemendinger, LCSW, MPH, CPH, ACS, the clinical director of the OCD Program and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, about the benefits and pitfalls of technology when it comes to disordered eating and compulsive exercise.

Kristen Mackel is a member of NASW-PA:
What You Should Know About Dancing With Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Dance Magazine
According to Kristen Mackel, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with athletes and creatives, when talking about GAD, it’s important to differentiate between the disorder and anxiety as an emotion. This can be done by thinking in terms of what she calls “states” and “traits.” “An emotion is a state; it comes and goes,” she explains. “A disorder is much more of a trait; it’s more prevalent, persistent and pervasive.”

Olivia Taylor is a member of NASW-IL:
Why It’s Important To Leave A Relationship That Doesn’t Serve You, According To An Expert
Glam Magazine
Olivia Taylor, a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, and the owner of Coral Heart Counseling, shared some of her top indicators that you should leave a relationship with Glam. Watching out for these red flags can give you the clarity you need to decide if this is just a minor bump in the road or if a relationship is no longer serving you, helping you to avoid unnecessary confusion and heartbreak in this difficult situation.

Andrea Kumura is a member of NASW-HI:
Kaiser Permanente mental health employees return to work after a 172-day strike
Hawaii Public Radio
The agreement also includes pension benefits for new hires. Kaiser had previously insisted on eliminating pension benefits for new hires even though that would have made it harder to recruit more therapists. “This contract is a lot better than what Kaiser was offering when we started our strike last August, but it’s still not enough to address the understaffing crisis that forces Kaiser members to wait months for mental health therapy,” said Andrea Kumura, a social worker from Waipio said in a press release.

Michelle Felder is a member of NASW-NYC:
Got an A–hole in Your Life? Here’s Exactly How To Deal With Them, According to Mental Health Experts
While there is no diagnosable “a–hole” personality type in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), identifying someone in this way is the first step to learning how to deal with them. Michelle Felder, LCSW, MA, licensed clinical social worker, parenting therapist and founder of Parenting Pathfinders defines an a–hole as “someone that demonstrates a pattern of being inconsiderate of the feelings or needs of others, or who is intentionally contentious, irritating or unkind.”

Nicole Sbordone is a member of NASW-AZ:
Should You Feel Guilty For Forgetting To Text Back? Not Always
Glam Magazine
If you genuinely meant to respond but it slipped your mind, you’re not alone. You may even prepare an entire message, only to forget to hit send. According to Nicole Sbordone, a licensed clinical social worker, it happens all the time (via HelloGiggles). With so many distractions, it’s easy to get sidetracked. This is especially true if you have a condition like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to Healthline, common symptoms of adult ADHD include a lack of focus and forgetfulness. Losing your keys, zoning out during conversations, and, yes, forgetting to text back are often a part of everyday life if you have ADHD.

Jamie Plocinski is a member of NASW-PA:
Life saving: Doctors, advocates in the Williamsport region explain gender-affirming care
Williamsport Sun-Gazette
Jamie Plocinski, a licensed clinical social worker and owner of Radiance Wellness Group, is well-versed in the process of writing letters for insurance purposes. In fact, she said, a number of trans people in the area who are otherwise happy with the therapy they receive elsewhere come her way for letters in case their therapist isn’t familiar with the process. Though, she said, she doesn’t hand out letters willy-nilly. She conducts an assessment of the patient and looks into their history and weighs other factors. The process is “definitely based on age,” she said.

Aubrey Driscoll is a member of NASW-IN:
Advocates share resources for domestic violence survivors at Ball State University and in Muncie
Ball State Daily
For confidential support, the Ball State Counseling Center offers several therapeutic forms of treatment, ranging from self-direction interventions, group treatment and individual therapy, associate director of prevention and wellness Aubrey Driscoll said via email. “It is our goal to work with our students to determine what form of treatment would best fit their needs and address their specific challenges or struggles,” Driscoll said via email.

The battle over abortion access could return to the ballot box in four states as the 2024 elections loom
Unlike Florida, Ohio has already passed a 6-week ban. However, the state’s law is not in effect after a county judge put it on hold over a lawsuit brought by the National Association of Social Workers and the Abortion Fund of Ohio. The legal fight could reach the Ohio State Supreme Court. Ohio will also be closely watched nationally. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, is seeking a fourth term and is one of a handful of incumbents that Republicans want to pick off. Democrats haven’t carried the state in a presidential race since 2012, but having abortion access on the ballot could draw more Democratic voters to the polls.

Hollie Swire is a member of NASW-MA:
‘Momnesia’ is real, but it’s not what you think
The Washington Post
Psychologist and mother of three Alison Kravit has, on occasion, forgotten the word “therapy.” Hollie Swire, a licensed independent clinical social worker and new mother of one, has set off for day care without the bag of her son’s clothes and bottles. Christina Moran, a stay-at-home mom of three who has master’s degrees in nursing and public health, worries she won’t be able to process information quickly or express herself succinctly when she goes back to work. “It’s a very uncomfortable feeling,” she said.

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