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News Items – August 6, 2020

news items logo oneSocial workers are masters at de-escalation. Here’s what the police can learn from them.
The Week
First responders are often portrayed as the heroes of our society. Medical professionals, police officers, and firefighters are lauded with admiration and praise for their life-saving efforts, and for good reason. But there’s one group of first responders that gets overlooked: social workers. These unsung heroes immerse themselves within communities to address systemic problems and improve the well-being of society as a whole. Sometimes they’re called to hospitals or homes in emergencies to help police resolve conflict peacefully. That’s because social workers are masters at de-escalation.

Victor Armstrong is a member:
Anxiety, depression among North Carolinians has ‘tripled’ during pandemic, health leaders say
WBTV
Victor Armstrong, director of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services, says leaders must enhance outreach efforts to marginalized communities. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, symptoms of depression and anxiety have tripled,” said Armstrong, who is working with the state to increase access to mental healthcare. “We have also seen a 15-percent increase in emergency department visits visits of opioid overdose.”

Bruce Buchanan was a member; he passed away last month:
Iowa Press Special: Coronavirus | Mental health, food insecurity & agriculture economy
Iowa PBS
On this Iowa Press Special: Coronavirus, a panel of experts participate in a live discussion of the pandemic’s impact on mental health, food insecurity and the agriculture economy, answering viewer questions submitted via email, phone and social media. The panel includes Michelle Book, president and CEO of the Food Bank of Iowa; Bruce Buchanan, president and CEO of Compass Clinical Associates; and Chad Hart, associate professor of economics at Iowa State University. Joining moderator David Yepsen at the Iowa Press table is Kay Henderson, news director for Radio Iowa.

Mental health leader Bruce Buchanan dies unexpectedly
Business Record
Bruce Buchanan, pictured, president and CEO of Compass Clinical Associates in Urbandale, died of natural causes at his home in Des Moines on Monday. Buchanan, a licensed social worker, was a nationally recognized trainer and lecturer in the areas of child and adolescent therapies, reactive attachment disorder, social work ethics and residential treatment programming.

Amber Kelly is a member:
[Audio] Re-imagining Policing, Public Safety and the Role of Social Workers
Between the Lines
One of the professions that’s been highlighted in this discussion is that of social workers. Debate rages about whether social workers should operate within or separate from police departments. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with two Connecticut social workers who have been active in the Black Lives Matter protests. We hear first from Amber Kelly, assistant professor of social work at Quinnipiac University, who shares her perspective on the role of social workers in policing reform.

Mark Smith is a member:
[Video] Iowa party chairs
Iowa PBS
On this edition of Iowa Press, Jeff Kaufmann, chair of the Republican Party of Iowa, and Mark Smith, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party discuss 2020 campaigns. Joining moderator David Yepsen at the Iowa Press table is Kay Henderson, news director for Radio Iowa, and Erin Murphy, Des Moines bureau chief for Lee Enterprises.

Judy Postmus is a member:
Face to Face: Welcoming the New Dean of Social Work
University of Maryland – Baltimore
Warm welcomes and well wishes were plentiful on the July 30 edition of Virtual Face to Face with Dr. Bruce Jarrell, when University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Interim President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, sat down with Judy L. Postmus, PhD, MSW, the new dean of the University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW). Postmus began her term as the new dean of the UMSSW on July 1, and after a month on the job she was eager to greet the UMB community, talk about her experiences, and share the plans she has for students, faculty, staff, and alumni at the UMSSW.

Sherri Lau is a member:
Interpreting your child’s nonverbal cues
Daily Herald (IL)
Sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic has forced parents to juggle work and home in new and unexpected ways. With so much going on, even the most attentive parent can sometimes miss what their children are trying to tell them, especially when they may be at a loss for words. Children express many of their feelings with nonverbal cues. Here are some common nonverbal cues, what they mean and what you can do to support your child through this difficult time.

Lauren Zingraff is a member:
In harm’s way: NC homes for frail, disabled fail to prepare for foreseeable disasters
The News & Observer (NC)
The possibility of colliding disasters has Lauren Zingraff, executive director of the advocacy group Friends of Residents in Long Term Care, “gravely concerned.” “We do not have in place the type of emergency preparedness, safety plans, funding and resources to adequately prevent a repeat of what we experienced in 2018,” she said. “It’s scary to think about what the nursing shortage will look like when you have the devastation of a hurricane and a pandemic on top of it.”

Public Defender’s Office secures social worker, Funded by state grant
Redwood News
The Humboldt County Public Defender’s office has been hoping to hire a social worker for years now they can through a state grant specifically designed to help their clients find and maintain stable permanent housing. According to Humboldt County’s Public Defender Marek Reavis, homelessness is a community issue. “The problem of homelessness is right before our eyes, on almost every sidewalk and street of this county,” he said.

Learning Curve: Prioritizing Students’ Social And Emotional Health Needs
CBS Sacramento
What’s different this year in Natomas is that each school is getting a new employee. Social workers will soon be hired and assigned to every elementary and K-8 school in the district, on top of the school counselors and psychologists that already operate within. The goal is to connect with students on an individual level virtually, and in more extreme cases, make home visits when it’s safe.

State and local governments employ the highest share of essential workers. Congress is failing to protect them.
Brookings
But what if we told you the single biggest group of essential workers could find themselves without a paycheck at the end of the month? That’s the situation facing 23.2 million essential workers employed by state and local governments. With tax revenues rapidly disappearing, a quick economic recovery out of reach, and no choice but to balance their budgets, public officials have already laid off at least 1.5 million of these workers. Teachers, firefighters, social workers, construction workers—no job is untouchable.

Christina Cazanave is a member:
Social Workers: The Time for Voter Registration Is Now
The New Social Worker
Voting is a nonpartisan and ethical practice. It aligns with the professional principle that “social workers challenge social injustice” and “respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person” (NASW Code of Ethics, 2018). In 1993, the National Voter Registration Act legalized nonpartisan voter registration of social work clients (Voting is Social Work, n.d.). This act allows the profession to engage in voter registration. Social workers’ ethical responsibility is to pave the way for all people to be agents of change. To do this, social workers are leading voter engagement, education, and mobilization activities with the assistance of the Voting is Social Work campaign.

Karen Koenig is a member:
Mental Health Experts Explain What “Toxic Positivity” Is & How It Can Hurt Your Relationships
Bustle
“Toxic positivity involves focusing, allowing yourself to feel, or only expressing emotions that our culture deems as positive because they make us feel good,” psychotherapist Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, tells Bustle. Relentless Pollyanna-ing is cute for a while, she says, but it’s inauthentic — and it stifles real responses to hard situations.

Tracy Greene Mintz is a member:
Nursing Home Residents Moved Out To Make Way For COVID-19 Patients
KUOW
Sudden relocations can be dangerous for older adults, says Tracy Greene Mintz, a licensed clinical social worker who focuses on a well-documented syndrome called transfer trauma. “The shorter-term consequences are disability and death,” Mintz says. There are a lot of mental and emotional consequences, too. “More severe memory impairment, where there was only a mild one before the move,” Mintz says. “Also emotional symptoms: sadness, anger, irritability.”

NASW-AR is mentioned:
Teacher Protests Erupt As #DemandSafeSchools Takes Off
Common Dreams
The hashtag #DemandSafeSchools lit up Twitter on Monday as teachers and students in districts across the country took part in protests over plans for in-person learning in fall despite safety concerns from Covid-19. Actions took place in dozens of major cities including Milwaukee, Chicago, Phoenix, and New York, with some advocates joining the day of action with virtual displays of support.

Ken Page is a member:
Why Dating Unavailable People Can Mess With Your Mind, From A Psychotherapist
Mind Body Green
There are plenty of signs to watch out for if you’re worried the person you’ve been seeing is emotionally unavailable: They don’t communicate, they don’t want to label your relationship, everything seems to be on their terms, and so on. These dating scenarios can feel draining, exhausting, and negatively affect feelings of self-worth and well-being. Here, psychotherapist and relationship expert Ken Page, LCSW, explains why dating an unavailable person can be triggering for many, and what to do about it.

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