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News Items – December 16, 2021

Colorado has half a billion dollars to fix its mental health system. But first it needs workers.
The Denver Post
UCHealth, for one, is in the midst of a $150 million push that includes expanding “tele-psych” and “tele-social work,” and embedding psychologists and social workers inside its network of primary care clinics. The hospital system has hired about 100 behavioral health workers in the last couple of years and now has 68 vacancies for social workers, counselors, psychologists and other mental health workers. The hospital’s midpoint salary for a clinical social worker, at $76,814, is about $27,000 more annually than the average pay of a social worker or counselor at a Colorado community mental health center, according to the centers’ trade group.

Miriam Espaillat is a member:
Everyday Hero: Restaurant owner helps Charlotte’s immigrant community
Spectrum Local News
A North Carolina Latin restaurant owner is mixing her experience in the kitchen and her degree in social work to give back to her community. The smell of yuca fries sizzling in hot oil brings Miriam Espaillat back to her childhood in El Salvador. “It’s the colors, the smells, the hills and the mountains behind it,” Espaillat said. “That’s what it reminds me of.” Espaillat brings that same taste of home to her customers at Sabor Latin Street Grill in Charlotte. Cooking up Latin cuisine is in Espaillat’s blood. After moving to New York City, she prepared dishes at the restaurant owned by her mother. “For me, she’s my trailblazer,” Espaillat said of her mother. “The one that really opened up a lot of opportunities for me.”

Ken Page is a member:
5 Ways To Actually Support A Friend Going Through A Divorce, From A Therapist
Mind Body Green
It goes without saying that divorce is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. And when a friend or loved one is going through a divorce, it can feel like there’s only so much you can do or say to support them. To find out how to best be there for someone going through a divorce, we asked therapist and relationship expert Ken Page, LCSW, for his best tips. Here’s what he had to say:

Caitlin Cantor is a member:
The Top 3 First Date Mistakes
Psychology Today
If you’re nervous and awkward or you say the wrong thing and someone doesn’t want to see you again, it’s no big deal as you didn’t know them anyway. Plus, that kind of judgment shows a lack of relational maturity. Who in relationships doesn’t say the wrong thing now and then? Who isn’t awkward at times? We all do and we all are, and it’s highly judgmental to eliminate someone on a first date because of this. So, any way you spin it, first dates are the lowest stakes of any point in a (potential) relationship. That’s why it’s important to treat it as such.

Idaho families of color experience greater financial burden for juvenile cases
Idaho Press
Black youth have a higher rate of incarceration despite making up only 14% of the total youth population, according to the National Association of Social Workers reports. However, Black youth are 53.1% of youth transferred to adult incarceration centers, despite the fact that Black and white youth make up an equal percentage of juveniles charged with personal offenses, the website said. Black and Hispanic youth were also much more likely than their white counterparts to be sentenced and serve time in an adult jail when transferred to adult court, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Laura Rippeon is a member:
Why some telecommuters miss working from the office
As 2022 nears, and many offices are finally gearing up to re-open, not everyone is sad to see their work-from-home life end. In fact, many are looking forward to it. According to a survey by Workhuman for Fortune, more than half of the workers surveyed who are returning to the office say they’re “excited” or “happy” for the change. Moreover, there is a psychological explanation as to why some miss the office while others loathe it. Laura Rippeon, a licensed clinical social worker providing psychotherapy in Wilmington, North Carolina, tells Salon that socializing is the one, big reason that many miss the office environment. Many workers, Rippeon said, “might miss having social connections and getting those social needs met.”

Tom Lachiusa is a member:
Why 1,320 Therapists Are Worried About Mental Health in America Right Now
The New York Times
Social workers, psychologists and counselors from every state say they can’t keep up with an unrelenting demand for their services, and many must turn away patients — including children — who are desperate for support. “All the therapists I know have experienced a demand for therapy that is like nothing they have experienced before,” said Tom Lachiusa, a licensed clinical social worker in Longmeadow, Mass. “Every available time slot I can offer is filled.”

Josephine Ponticello is a member:
Finding a stable foundation for N.J. foster kids
Jersey’s Best
There is an urgency to finding families for these children. The consequences of entering adulthood without a strong family connection can darken the prospects of a bright future, experts say. When children lack a stable, permanent home, their “sense of self is diminished significantly,’’ explained Jo Ponticello, vice president of children’s services, Children’s Aid and Family Services in Paramus. “These youth generally have an inability to trust. They’re on guard because their survival requires that they be detached.’’ news items logo one

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