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News Items – April 8, 2020

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Gail Patin is a member:
[Video] Hubbard House: Isolation, fear can create ‘perfect storm’ for domestic abuse
Isolation and fear during the coronavirus pandemic can create the perfect storm for domestic or child abuse. “They are prisoners in their own home and aren’t often able to get out and get that information,” Dr. Gail Patin said. “It’s very alarming.” As more people are being urged to stay home to protect themselves against COVID-19, local experts say it’s a critical time for victims of domestic violence or child abuse. Patin is the CEO of Hubbard House. The full-service domestic violence center serves Duval and Baker counties.

Mollie Volinsky is a member:
Therapist Share 6 Cringe-Worthy Mental Health Myths
News Channel Nebraska
“The thought is that if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, then you go to a mental health expert and they make you feel better,” says Mollie Volinsky, LCSW. “It would be nice if that were true, but that isn’t the case. Healing and recovery are not linear.” What makes this myth so problematic is that it can make someone think their treatment is “not working,” or not working fast enough, or that they are failing at it. It might even lead people to abandon their treatment if they think it’s a waste of their time or money.

Theresa Nguyen is a member:
Mental Health America and ‘Happy’ Partner to Offer Emotional Support from Home for Anyone Feeling Anxious or Alone from COVID-19
According to Theresa Nguyen, LCSW, MHA’s Chief Program Officer, “Isolation can lead to loneliness and depression, and for individuals who are beginning to experience forced isolation because of COVID-19, it can be overwhelming, said Theresa. “It’s now more important than ever to stay connected digitally and check in on your mental health — MHA is proud to partner with services like Happy that can help connect people to others who can listen and offer emotional support.”

Mary Beth Callahan is a member:
Nephrology practice suggests ways to improve advance care planning for patients with kidney disease
“Current goals of care conversations are infrequent, late and limited,” Mary Beth Callahan, APHSW-C, ACSW/LCSW, supportive care team program manager at Dallas Nephrology Associates, told Healio Nephrology. “Often, goals of care conversations have not been discussed and a person (a patient or our loved one) becomes too ill to think through their desires and loses the capacity to relate this important information to the people who need to know — those who will speak on their behalf. Because of this, people spend many of their last days in hospitals and ICU.”

Clair Mellenthin is a member:
[Video] Healthy parenting through COVID19 pandemic
In an interview, Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S, offers these tips for parents:

  • Structure is important but nurture is critical
  • Teach your kids good hygiene and remind them that they are safe and will be taken care of
  • BREATHE – give yourself permission to put yourself in time out and nap time
  • Don’t micromanage your teens. Set expectations and be consistent
  • Take a walk and get out of the house every day for a reset

Julie de Azevedo Hanks is a member:
[Video] Protecting your family’s mental health during Covid-19
In an interview, Julie de Azevedo Hanks, PhD, LCSW, offers these tips for families:
Exercise regularly; Practice mindfulness; Feel and label emotions; Stay social; Get professional help.

Grant Clowers is a member:
Improving quality of life in the ‘new normal’ is possible
Nevada Appeal
Most appear to be doing well, adhering to their daily activities or thinking outside of the box if being confined to the box is restricting them from feeling normal. But there are still ways to increase enjoyment in the small spaces of home in these times, according to Christina Sapien, director of Behavioral Health Services for Carson Tahoe Health in the field for 27 years, and Grant Clowers, LCSW, a clinical supervisor for 11 years.

[Video] 25 Investigates: ‘Families left in the dark’ as veterans die amid botched COVID-19 response
The support is being provided by Behavioral Health Network and Riverside Community Care and was established in coordination with the National Association of Social Workers – MA Chapter. This additional support for family communication is to support the work that is being done at Holyoke to keep veterans’ families apprised.

While coronavirus has children home and families strained, abuse and neglect could rise
For now, it’s vital for school social workers and counselors to maintain communication with their students, said Michael Cappiello, president-elect of the New York State chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, a longtime Westchester resident working for the New York City schools. “Many students at risk were identified long before the current crisis, and a lot of my work is simply continuing to reach out directly to families,” he said.

Pandemic sparks concerns about child abuse in Maine
“Parents are trying to be all things at once,” said Lynn Stanley, the interim director of the Maine chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. “For the haves with high-speed internet, good jobs, full fridges and a big back yard, it’s doable. For the have-nots, things are incredibly hard and likely to get even harder.”

Marjorie Sturdy is a member:
‘Downward spiral of depression’: Coronavirus jeopardizes senior, child mental health
The Modesto Bee
Financial hardship can further exacerbate depression in seniors amid the pandemic, said Marjorie Sturdy, a licensed clinical social worker in Stanislaus County. The majority of Sturdy’s senior clients live from paycheck to paycheck, relying on monthly social security and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. The current economy can jeopardize their livelihood, Sturdy said, as their spouses and adult children lose their jobs and ability to support them.

Sheldon Isenberg is a member:
With the need for human contact ‘hard-wired’ into us, finding alternative ways to communicate key to mental health
The Chicago Tribune
Licensed clinical social worker Sheldon Isenberg has been practicing in the Naperville area since 1974. Now 78, until a couple of weeks ago he was still driving to his office on Washington Street from the Evanston assisted living facility where he and his wife live. Isenberg says personality determines how people are dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

Maria Baratta is a member:
Why you should rewatch your favorite TV shows right now, according to a clinical social worker
While people stay at home and adhere to social distancing guidelines, many are starting to seek out new shows and movies to help kill time and keep their minds off coronavirus pandemic worries. But the best thing to watch might just be your old favorites, says Dr. Maria Baratta, a licensed clinical social worker. “To watch stuff that you know the ending to, especially if it’s a decent ending, is important,” Baratta tells CNBC Make It. “During these days, we don’t know what’s happening. We don’t know how long this is going to last.

Amy Kemter is a member:
Pressure intensifies on city’s mental health
San Antonio Express-News
Amy Kemter, a San Antonio clinical social worker and therapist, says clients report “feeling a lack of control and powerlessness resulting in increased fear, restlessness, and increased symptoms of disassociation.” Social distancing has led to “emotional distancing” as social support services have diminished.

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