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News Items – December 10, 2019

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Congressional Briefing Calls for Improved Regulation of CBD
On Dec. 5, the National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD), together with the National Association for Rural Mental Health (NARMH) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), hosted a Congressional briefing for Hill staff on the need for improved regulation of cannabidiol (CBD) products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The event was very well attended by representatives from the advocacy and congressional staff communities.

Karen R. Koenig is a member:
Why Can’t I Cry? Experts Explain The Science
In some cases, even identifying the urge to cry can be a challenge. Psychotherapist Karen R. Koenig L.C.S.W tells Bustle that emotional crying requires being in touch with your feelings, and people who repress or disconnect from their emotions may not recognize their internal triggers for tears. “We may not realize that we’re sad, because we are not attuned to our emotions,” she says. “We may know that something uncomfortable is going on within, but not be able to label it as sadness.”

Nina Rifkind is a member:
Big Brain Energy: Mental illnesses aren’t adjectives
The Daily Campus (University of Connecticut)
Researchers and psychologists alike have long discussed why people constantly misuse these terms, which represent real and harrowing mental illnesses, as though they are personality quirks or slight inconveniences. As Nina Rifkind, LCSW mentions in her article on Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “The answer, in part, can be a lack of understanding and sometimes fear. Both are reflected in the way we routinely belittle mental health, as part of our daily lexicon.”

School Social Workers Speak Out Against Changes To Licensure Requirements
Social workers in Utah schools say they face difficult problems on a daily basis: students dealing with trauma, mental health problems and other social needs. Now, in what the State Board of Education says is an effort to attract more people to the job, a new rule changes the licensing that a social worker has to have to work in a school setting. They will still need a state professional license, but it does away with the educator license that has been required. At a public hearing Thursday night, current and former school social workers said they were not given a chance to give feedback on the rule before it was approved two months ago.

Norma Reggev is a member:
Recognizing the warning signs of suicide in seniors
The Californian
Suicide can affect all people regardless of ethnicity, age or gender. However, suicide rates are the highest among older adults, and these numbers are on the rise. Older adults make up 12 percent of the U.S. population but account for 18 percent of all suicides, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. And white men 85 years old or older are four times more likely to die by suicide than Americans in any other age group. Norma Reggev, a licensed clinical social worker with the Sharp Senior Health Centers, shares risk factors and warning signs of suicide in older adults, and steps you or a loved one can take to stay safe.

Ashley Rengstorf is a member:
Girls Court to begin on Iron Range
Hibbing Daily Tribune (MN)
Currently, the local Girls Court also includes voluntary help from Devyn Wallace, a gender-specific probation officer for the Arrowhead Regional Corrections in Duluth; Rachel Olivanti, the treatment director for the ARC in Virginia; Ashley Rengstorf, a clinical social worker in Hibbing; Jeanne Olson, the executive director for the Sexual Assault Program of Northern St. Louis County in Virginia; Westberg, probation supervisor in Virginia; and Chelsea Tracano, Gilbert police officer. Range Mental Health Center with offices in Hibbing and Virginia has expressed interest in joining the team as well.

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