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News Items – April 8, 2022

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Bill Lamb is a member:
For-profit vs. nonprofit: Do some NC nursing homes cut corners on staffing and quality?
The Charlotte Observer
Studies have found a similar pattern nationally, with nonprofit homes generally providing a higher quality of care than for-profits. It’s a pressing concern now as nursing homes struggle with a shortage of caregivers, a factor that threatens the quality of care. “The for-profit homes are driven by profit,” said Bill Lamb, a board member at Friends of Residents in Long Term Care, a North Carolina group that advocates for nursing homes residents. “When you look at where you squeeze profits out of a long-term care facility, staffing is where you begin.”

Melissa Webb is a member:
40 Under 40: Melissa Webb, LCSW, Clinical Director, Red Rock Psychological Health
Las Vegas Sun
Melissa Webb is on a mission to treat, educate and destigmatize a broad spectrum of mental health disorders, with an emphasis on sexual health and sexual abuse. The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Webb has witnessed firsthand the complexities of untreated trauma and PTSD, which led to her interest in the human condition, psychological functioning and the impact of abuse on families.

What Other Cities Can Teach New York About Homelessness on Transit
The New York Times
The interaction — in which officers de-escalated a situation and then deferred to trained outreach workers — offers a model for the future that New York officials say they envision as they try to address the large numbers of unsheltered people in the subway system in part by boosting the role of social workers and health professionals. But it also illustrates the challenges for transit agencies like New York’s as they seek to address a seemingly intractable crisis that sits well outside the bounds of their missions.

‘It’s Time to Fix Harrisburg': Campaign Calls for Legislative Reforms in PA
Public News Service
Johanna Byrd, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania chapter, said pandemic telehealth waivers are currently set to expire on June 30, which is a concern for providers. Byrd pointed out telehealth legislation passed the Senate but has been waiting for a House committee vote for months. “If something has not been passed, then it will result in a disruption of services for literally millions of Pennsylvanians who have become accustomed to accessing treatment via telehealth and who no longer will have that as an option as it returns to its pre-pandemic state,” Byrd stressed.

Student debt looms over Michiganders as two-year pause nears May 1 deadline
Michigan Live
Duane Breijak, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers Michigan Chapter— an organization that signed the letter—said student debt is a burden for a “whole generation of folks.” He noted it especially impacts graduate-degree social workers who owe an average of $46,000 with a median salary of $51,000. “The whole goal of college is to move up the socioeconomic ladder. And all these barriers seem to continually be in place to hold people in low-income positions,” he said. “So, this pause has been a refreshing restart for a lot of people, including myself.”

Mental Crisis Calls To Be Handled By New Social Worker Position
Lakeland Patch
Winter Haven residents will soon have a new option of mental crisis support through the police department by the agency hiring a licensed clinical social worker to help with mental health calls. Police officers with the Winter Haven Police Department have trained in the critical incident technique, however, officers only have two options available when they are called to a critical scene involving a mental health crisis: Baker Act or arrest.

Brit Holmberg is a member:
Mental health workers urge Mayor Lori Lightfoot to stop using police in crisis intervention teams
WBEZ
Brit Holmberg, a licensed clinical social worker, helped draft the letter to Lightfoot. He was joined on Thursday at City Hall by other mental health professionals and advocates who brought along a poster-sized card. The front of the card read “Treatment Not Trauma,” and displayed the photos of Chicagoans killed by police during a mental health crisis, including 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier. Inside the card was the letter to Lightfoot. “We’ve lost too many Chicagoans already. Having a mental health crisis in our city should not be a death sentence,” Holmberg told WBEZ.

Cindy Hayes is a member:
Program helps teachers focus on self-care
The Daily Iberian (LA)
“I really enjoyed tonight,” said LaDoris Politte, a special education teacher at North Lewis Elementary School. “Teachers are always putting everyone else first, and like (speaker Cindy Hayes) mentioned today, we have a new breed of kids because of COVID, and teachers, we normally don’t take time for ourself.” Hayes, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 42 years of experience in the mental health field, including 32 years in private practice with her husband Alan Hayes at Hayes & Hayes Psychotherapy Associates, explained several ways that teachers can learn to ensure their mental and physical health.

MN School Social Workers: Mental-Health Demands are Real
Public News Service
COVID cases are down in much of the U.S., but the pandemic’s lingering effects are growing larger. School social workers in Minnesota point to mental-health demands among students, and they hope lawmakers respond. Social workers team up with nurses and psychologists to help students cope with stress and anxiety. In a report from the ACLU, Minnesota is among the many states failing to meet the recommended student-to-staff ratios for each role. Sherry Murphy, a social worker for East Grand Forks Public Schools, said her district is understaffed in this area, which is a major concern in the current environment.

Opinion | More mental health services have been added to the VA, but there’s more to be done
The Daily Iowan
At an Iowa town hall meeting for the National Association of Social Workers, Democrat governmental candidate Deidre DeJear commented on the need for mental health services in Iowa. As previously reported, she said to address the root of the problem, we must investigate disparities within the education system, health care, and beyond. She also suggested implementing a loan forgiveness program for social workers and raising reimbursements. DeJear also commented on how Iowa needs more beds at mental health care facilities across the board.

How Texas Became the Most Virulently Anti-Trans State in America
New York Magazine
For Will Francis, the executive director of the National Association of Social Workers Texas, the 2017 removal of LGBTQ protections in the Foster Care Bill of Rights was the first domino to fall in a long line of protections for LGBTQ kids. “Once they did that, that first erasure — you know, if you call me tomorrow and said, ‘Hey, the department is now paying for conversion therapy,’ like I’d be shocked, but not surprised,” Francis said. “Once you remove kids from a space of recognizing their vulnerability and protecting them, it’s easy to move from there to actually actively attacking them.”

Northampton Sen. Comerford wants floor vote on jail, prisons bill
WWLP
The Senate sponsor of a bill to place a five-year moratorium on jail and prison construction said she hopes to bring that legislation to the floor after it earned a favorable report from the State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee. Sen. Jo Comerford, who filed the bill with Rep. Chynah Tyler, highlighted the bill at a Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Social Workers virtual advocacy day last week, noting that it is one of several items on the organization’s legislative agenda.

Latesha Newson is a member, and on the board of NASW-IL:
A glimpse inside mental health crisis response teams as Chicago creates versions without cops
WBEZ
“The culture of policing has proven that its methods for de-escalation and intervention are not effective and often end with the loss of life in Black and brown communities,” Latesha Newson, a board member of the Illinois chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said in a news conference last month. “Quintonio LeGrier, Laquan McDonald, Philip Coleman, James Anderson, Raul Barriera, Bettie Jones — all lives unjustly lost at the hands of Chicago police in their attempts to intervene during mental health crises.”

Student loan payments have been frozen for two years. Here’s how the pause helped 6 Michiganders.
Michigan Line
The pause in student loan payments allowed [Duane] Breijek to focus on other financial goals. “For a lot of folks, this is an opportunity to start thinking about building equity for yourself, whether that’s paying off other bills or investing in things like buying a house,” he said. Breijak, in his role as the executive director of the National Association of Social Workers Michigan Chapter, has also spent the past two years advocating for permanent policies that will address high student debt particularly for social workers.

Annette Deigh is a member:
Clock ticks for Biden on college debt bomb
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Like millions of other Americans who came of age in the 21st century, Annette Deigh, a 42-year-old licensed clinical social worker, knows what it was like to start adulthood with the weight of a huge student loan. Moving from Philadelphia to suburban Morton in Delaware County in search of better schools for her two young children, Deigh said paying down her $56,000 loan loomed over every decision, including signing her daughter up for gymnastics.

Samantha Lee Gibson is a member:
Where Did Samantha Lee Gibson Grow Up?
The Things
Samantha Lee Gibson was the second wife of Tyrese Gibson. The University of Georgia grad and the Fast and Furious franchiser have seen better days (more on that later) and their rocky journey is likely just begun. But, this list wishes to focus on the life of Samantha: who she is, what makes her tick and, of course, where did Samantha Grow up? Where did the gorgeous celebrity wife and mother begin her life? Funny, you should ask. Let’s go have a look-see, shall we?

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