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News Items – November 10, 2022

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Social Workers from Mississippi and Alabama come together
The Riley Center hosted over 150 social workers and students this afternoon for a two-day conference on different ways social work affects the community around them. This conference was a way to reach and educate future social workers by teaching them the many different roles they play in others’ lives. “Social work covers so many arenas and professions. So we’re in hospitals, we’re in schools, we’re doing policy, we’re in D.C. with legislative, we’re social justice activists, we’re on the front line fighting so we wanna make sure that people understand the dynamic roles that social workers do in their everyday work,” said one of the Keynote Speakers, Anjanette Young.

The Biden-⁠Harris Administration Advances Equity and Opportunity for Black Americans and Communities Across the Country
The White House
With the help of American Rescue Plan funds, today all schools in America have reopened, and virtually all remain open every school day with the supports they received from the Biden-Harris Administration providing crucial protections for students, staff, and families. Additionally, the number of social workers in public schools have increased by 67% and the number of counselors by 18%, relative to the years before the pandemic.

Richard Brandon-Friedman is a member of NASW-IN:
Could Indiana pursue a ban on gender-affirming care for minors?
Indiana Capital Chronicle
And advocates for transgender youth warn of the dire consequences if children are denied this care, which is often life-saving. “So the idea that we would have youth that are not really able to receive that care until they’re 18 is just not acceptable because it’s asking them to continue to suffer all the way until they turn 18,” said Richard Brandon-Friedman, an assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Social Work at IUPUI. “It’s just asking them to continue to suffer for years and years for, really, no legitimate reason.”

How The National Association Of Social Workers Are Supporting Domestic Abuse Survivors
A significant amount of the work towards the increase in support for domestic violence survivors has come from social workers. For example, 60% of the mental health services in the U.S. are provided by social workers. According to the NASW website, “Social workers are at the forefront in preventing domestic Violence and treating victims of domestic Violence. For instance, social workers provide counseling and support through shelter programs, individual counseling, and court advocacy. Social workers also advocate for programs and legislation to address domestic Violence.

Christa McCrorie is a member of NASW-AL:
What Is Romantic Attraction? 6 Signs You’re Experiencing It
Mind Body Green
“Romantic attraction is an emotional response of one person towards another, which can be described as a yearning to admire and join with them,” says therapist Christa McCrorie, LICSW-PIP. While romantic attraction is different for everyone, many people will experience feelings of wanting to protect and provide for another person, wanting to keep them cared for, enjoying their company, and wanting to take on a role of responsibility in maintaining that person’s happiness, she notes.

Debra Riggs is executive director of NASW-VA:
Youngkin Champions Licensing Reforms, Loosens Regulatory Barriers
The Republican Standard
National Association of Social Workers Virginia Executive Director Debra Riggs told The Virginia Star that the change has been a long time coming. “We know that we have a major workforce crisis in behavioral health, and we are the largest provider of behavioral health professionals in the state and in the nation. And this will be another way to bring in social workers from other jurisdictions and states to work in the Commonwealth,” Riggs said.

Christine Clarke is on the staff of NASW-VA:
When Virginia schools could change the way they treat transgender students
Educators would be required to tell parents if a child request such changes to be made within the school, something Christine Clarke with the Virginia Chapter of National Association of Social Workers, says is harmful to transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming youth. “While we respect a parent’s desire to keep updated on important academic issues of their children, we as social workers do not support forced outing of transgender student due to high risk for mental health and physical safety,” Clarke said at a rally led by Equality Virginia Thursday morning in Richmond.

Jenna Wolfson is a member of NASW-CA:
10 ways to get mental health help during a therapist shortage
The Washington Post
If you find a therapist who seems like a good fit but can’t see you for a while, ask to be put on a wait list and then request recommendations for other therapists who specialize in the same mental health issues. Also, keep in mind that group practices may be able to fit you in sooner than solo practitioners. When all else fails, you may be able to ask your health insurance provider for appointment assistance. “Tell them you’re not able to find providers and have them do the work for you,” said Jenna Wolfson, a licensed clinical social worker in Santa Cruz County, Calif.

Brianna Schiavoni is a member of NASW-OH:
How Meditation and Mindfulness Can Help Manage Diabetes
Recently, I attended a presentation about meditation and mindfulness put together by certified health and wellness coach Brooke Cassoff, Peter Friedfeld and Sam Tullman (who has a master’s in public health). They, along with Brianna Schiavoni (a licensed clinical social worker), are co-founders of the Diabetes Sangha group. “Sangha” is a Sanskrit word for community, specifically “a community that comes together with a positive, liberative intention” as the Sangha website states.

Caitlin Opland is a member of NASW-CO:
How sober curiosity can turn into a lifestyle change
Rocky Mountain PBS
Caitlin Opland is a licensed clinical social worker who works for Thriveworks, a mental health company. Opland says over the last few months, she has been working with more and more clients who are on a similar journey of wanting to cut out alcohol, not because of a problem, but because they want explore a different way of living. “I’ve had many clients come to me and say, ‘I don’t think it’s a problem, but …,’” she explained, adding that she typically asks clients what’s influencing their curiosity about sobriety and the possibility of no longer drinking.

Jinnie Cristerna is a member of NASW-IL:
Ways you can manage SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Symptoms of SAD range from irritability to hopelessness to a sense of worthlessness. They usually begin in late fall and taper off in the spring, so making a plan now before it gets colder and darker can help in the depths of winter. Reset hears tips from a psychologist on how to reduce seasonal sadness and talks with someone who runs a craft supply store because one way to address SAD is to take up a new project. GUESTS: Jinnie Cristerna, (CRIS-tern-NUH) LCSW, Psychotherapist with International High Achievers; Eleanor Ray, executive director, founder The Waste Shed.

Aimee Copeland is a member of NASW-GA:
Aimee Copeland expands outdoor fun to the disabled community
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Aimee Copeland, who lost a leg, a foot, and both hands to a bacteria-eating disease, is realizing her dream: that no disabled person should ever be denied the healing power of the outdoors. “It feels like a prayer I’ve been praying for years has been answered,” she said. Last week, Copeland announced that a foundation bearing her name, in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, is launching a program to allow the mobility-impaired to hit the trails in any of 11 state parks, using all-terrain wheelchairs. Use of the chairs is free to individuals with a documented disability and driver’s license. Riders must complete a safety certification program and be accompanied by a trained “buddy,” Copeland said.

All-terrain wheelchairs arrive at U.S. parks: ‘This is life-changing’
The Washington Post
The Georgia initiative was spearheaded by Aimee Copeland Mercier, who suffered a zip-lining accident in 2012 and lost both hands, her right foot and her left leg to a flesh-eating bacterial infection. Copeland Mercier, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, tested several types of all-terrain chairs before committing to the Action Trackchair, which several other state programs also use.

Shaina Singh is a member of NASW-TX:
Abortion restrictions changing conversations about dating, family planning
Spectrum News Austin
Singh, who is also a licensed clinical social worker, said she noticed after the death of George Floyd and the social justice protests that followed, potential dating partners became more eager to explore each other’s political and social views. “Before 2020, what I would often see is that people were more willing to take a chance on somebody that even if their values didn’t align, but now,” Singh said. “The stakes are really high, and there is no compromise for people especially when you are part of a marginalized group. People are realizing that I want a life partner and I want a life partner that has my back.”

Christine Isaac is a member of NASW-NJ:
Community Wellness Program Focuses on Self-Care
Princeton Info
Beginning in 2022 under PMPH’s Community Wellness program, the sessions focus on a special topic of self-care in a rotating format between in-person and online. Each is led by a company professional with knowledge in subjects like mindfulness, journaling, and deep breathing, as well as others that may not be commonly utilized or applied for managing stress. The first event on January 12 was presented by Christine Isaac, a licensed clinical social worker and alcohol and drug counselor who introduced participants to the concept of self-care for a better understanding of what the term and its benefits can entail.

Terry Werner is executive director of NASW-SD:
SD Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion
Public Service News
Terry Werner, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers South Dakota chapter, said it can also help social workers who provide therapy in clinical settings. “I think there’s a lot of clinical social workers who end up doing work and not being reimbursed for it,” Werner pointed out. “That’s an important aspect of it.” He suggested having more people with health coverage reduces the risk of being denied care if a provider is worried about reimbursements. Since the Affordable Care Act became law, states have had the option to receive federal funds to expand their Medicaid programs.

Who is Josh Shapiro’s wife Lori? Meet the new PA gov’s family
The Focus
Before being elected PA governor the 49-year-old was an attorney. He has served as Pennsylvania attorney general since 2017. And if there’s one person who truly knows what Josh has been through, it’s his wife Lori. Lori Shapiro is a clinical social worker and therapist and has been working in that field for 22 years. Before all that, she met Josh.

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