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News Items – November 22, 2017

Durango, CO ©Thinkstock

Durango, CO

Wanda Ellingson, the writer, is a member:
Ellingson: Social workers lead change, champion justice
The Durango Herald (CO)
In 2000, the University of Denver took that single step and brought a Master of Social Work program to the Four Corners. Two tireless champions were central to the vision for the program. Catherine Alter, then dean of the Graduate School of Social Work, and Morley Ballantine, former publisher and editor of The Durango Herald, and then a DU trustee. She believed the Four Corners was perfect for this new degree program, which is based in Durango. The region was chosen because of its culturally diverse population, the lack of social work professionals and the need to address the uniqueness of rural and tribal communities.

Ron Bunce is the executive director of NASW-NYS:
Supporting both types of supporters
The Times Union (Albany)
“This is a fundamental social justice-related issue that disproportionately impacts individuals living in poverty and specifically also minority populations,” said Ron Bunce, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers New York State Chapter. “Ensuring that all New York state residents have access to affordable quality mental health care is critical, not only to the individuals but to communities across the state.”

Misty McIntyre-Goodsell is a member:
‘Very deadly’: Utah woman loses daughter to compressed air addiction
“Very deadly,” said Misty McIntyre-Goodsell, LCSW, director of research and development at Odyssey House. She said huffing air duster can cause heart failure the first time someone uses it. “Because you’re not getting oxygen, you’re not getting oxygen to your brain. People can have seizures, they can go into comas, they can asphyxiate,” she said. 22 percent of inhalant abusers who died from it had no history of inhalant abuse — they were first time users, according to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

Reuben Chong is a member:
Substance abuse counselor Reuben Chong: Pioneering the recovery process
Marianas Variety
“The problem with addiction is that it is an unseen emotion. It’s the spirit and the mind. We have participants who are looking for belonging. They are looking for a sense that they’ll be okay. I believe that human life has meaning and that has transitioned into my work,” Reuben says. Three months ago, Reuben Chong relocated to Saipan from his home in Hawaii to embark on a pioneering journey to helping others struggling with addiction. As a certified substance abuse counselor and a licensed clinical social worker, Reuben was inspired by Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres’ commitment to address the island’s increasing drug problem through the HOPE recovery center.

Scott Stange is a member:
[Video] Helping soldiers battling mental health disorders (IL)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker Scott Stange said, “At this type of installation, we see people that may have had four or five combat-related deployments.” Deployments that can push active duty personnel to seek the help of Rock Island Arsenal clinical social worker Scott Stange. He has been addressing the mental health needs of soldiers for the last eight years. “Cumulative effect of a lot of traumatic events can result can in some post-traumatic stress symptoms,” Stange said.

Rhonda Bryhn is a member:
More than 1 in 8 female high school students in La Crosse County reported being sexually assaulted in 2017
La Crosse Tribune (WI)
“People don’t know how many kids are affected and how significant this issue is,” Gundersen Health System clinical social worker and sexual abuse counselor Rhonda Bryhn said. “It is an enormous problem.” Despite laws requiring reporting and investigation of incidents of sexual assault and rape among minors, educators and health professionals say it is still a tricky subject to tackle. Due to cultural perceptions and myths about rape, students can feel uncomfortable about reporting incidents of sexual assault.

Meredith Strauss is a member:
7 steps for getting through a panic attack
Meditation is another common intervention that can be helpful not only as a preventative measure to reduce anxiety on an ongoing basis, but also as a tool to re-establish your relationship with your thoughts, which becomes important during an attack. “It can help clients become an observing witness to the fluctuations of thought, realize they are not controlled by them, and consequently reduce symptoms,” says Meredith Strauss, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker who specializes in treating anxiety and depression. “By focusing on the breath, or the mantra, clients are distracted from disturbing thoughts dictated by the mind. They also learn to become non-judgmental of negative and distracting thoughts as they become a witness to their own thinking.”


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