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News Items – December 23, 2020

news items logo oneMit Joyner is president of NASW:
Should You Apply for Government Assistance?
US News & World Report
Families should begin preparing for assistance long before they actually need it, says Mit Joyner, president of the National Association of Social Workers. She recommends everyone create a file to store Social Security cards, birth certificates, marriage certificates and copies of bills since all this documentation may be needed during the application process. Then, people should consider applying as soon as they have trouble paying their obligations. “Don’t wait until you’re down to your last dollar,” she says.

Angelo McClain is the executive director of NASW National:
Second Stimulus Package: What’s in It for You
US News & World Report
“It’s a relief knowing the package helps put food on the table, pay rent and avoid eviction for millions of families,” says Angelo McClain, chief executive officer for the National Association of Social Workers. However, he adds that it is only a first step. “Hopefully, all members of Congress understand that this relief package is insufficient and should be viewed as a down payment.”

Paris Murray is a member:
First Scholarship Awarded By Dare Minority Coality
Outer Banks Common Good
Congratulations to Ms. Paris Murray for being DMC 1st scholarship recipient of $1000.00 and more to come 2021. Paris Murray graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the Spring of 2017. Ms. Murray graduated with a 4.0 in her major of Social Work, along with a minor in psychology. Three days after walking the stage at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Paris was sitting in her first class for her Advanced Standing Masters of Social Work at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. In the Spring of 2018 Paris completed her Masters degree in Community, Management, and Policy Practice, and joined the Carolina Alumni family.

Lucy Lawrence is a member:
A survivor’s bravery – and Asheville School’s cowardice – show urgent need for change
Citizen Times
Lucy Lawrence: I am inspired by Agnes Hill’s courage and bravery to tell her humiliating story of violation and sexual violence as a student at the Asheville School (Asheville Citizen Times, Dec. 13). While the details of Agnes’ story are unique, many women can relate to her response of freezing and dissociation during an act of sexual violence. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one in six women in the United States experiences sexual violence in their lifetimes, with younger people at highest risk.

Moira Reilly is a member:
Archdiocese of Chicago Announces the Appointment of New Interim Director of Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review
Lawndale News
The Archdiocese of Chicago announced it has named Moira Reilly, LCSW, as Interim Director of the Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review (CAIR), which works to provide a compassionate and thorough process to receive and investigate reports of abuse against personnel.

Allan Schwartz is a member:
A Complete Look At Cannabis and Depression
CBD Testers
“I was, at times, able to get patients to agree to stop their marijuana use for a few weeks just so they could determine whether there was or was not an improvement in mood,” says Allan Schwartz, LCSW, PhD, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker in Colorado and New York. “These individuals were surprised, but were willing to admit that they felt real improvement in mood and functioning. I have directly witnessed the tragedy of patients going off of their medications for bipolar disorder, using marijuana and ending up re-hospitalized in worse shape than any time prior to the relapse,” Schwartz added.

Nicole Sbordone is a member:
This Is Why Your Friend Doesn’t Text You Back, According to Experts
If your friend is normally pretty quick to respond, or if you see they’re active on social media and thus clearly on their phone, consider this as a possible explanation. “It happens more than you know,” Nicole Sbordone, LCSW, an author and licensed clinical social worker, tells HelloGiggles. They probably saw your text, started to write back, then got distracted and didn’t hit send. You might even see their little “typing awareness indicator” blinking away. In that case, give it time. They’ll get back to you soon.

Behind the mistaken raid by Chicago Police on an innocent social worker’s home
Dogged by increased scrutiny over the Chicago Police Department’s mistaken raid on the home of a social worker in 2019, Mayor Lori Lightfoot released body camera footage from the officers involved in the encounter and announced that she has reached out to the woman to set up a face-to-face meeting. The 20 videos from officers involved in the raid show officers sweeping through the home of Anjanette Young, guns drawn expecting to find a felon with a gun while she stands naked and distraught in her living room, confused as to why the police were there.

Facing an eviction crisis, school social workers urge families to know McKinney-Vento rights
Port City Daily
This school year approximately 600 identified New Hanover County students are qualifying for McKinney-Vento services. The federal law protects children without fixed, adequate or regular nighttime residences, guaranteeing them school stability while their families are without secure housing. While the central protection of the act is to keep children in their school of origin when it’s in their best interest, the students are also granted other rights; those include access to school transportation when requested by the parent, and the ability to immediately enroll in school and participate in all activities without the normally-required documentation.

Kat Geiger is a member:
Isolation, anxiety, depression: Pandemic exacerbates Nevadans’ struggles with mental health
Reno Gazette Journal
Kat Geiger, a licensed clinical social worker and eating disorder specialist, said her office has seen a 300 percent increase in patients seeking service compared to 2019. “A lot of people aren’t saying it’s the illness itself, it’s the isolation and the secondary financial and relationship issues,” Geiger said. “COVID expedited us breaking through some barriers with stigma. People who historically haven’t accessed mental health services feel desperate enough to access them.”

Carolyn Gartner is a member:
What Happens When You Die? Hospice Workers Share Conversations With Patients as They Near the End of Their Life
Parade Magazine
Carolyn Gartner, licensed clinical social worker with Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice and Palliative Care, began practicing meditation and studying Buddhism around the same time she started pursuing social work. Working in hospice care, she’s found her patients hold a perspective of gratitude and acceptance that parallels what she’s been taught through her meditation practice. “I feel my older patients really understand the idea of letting go, and not letting small things bother you,” Gartner says. “We get so caught up in the day-to-day, and I see my older patients are a good role model for how those things pass.”

Melissa Preece is a member:
[Video] ‘It keeps us busy’: Video games help people get through pandemic
Mental health experts say a popular Christmas present is helping people cope with COVID-19. They say they’re doing a lot more this year than providing casual fun, they’re getting some people through the pandemic.…  “It keeps us busy and makes us feel wanted and needed,” said Melissa Preece, a licensed clinical social worker.

Jennifer Welch is a member:
[Video] Battling depression during the holidays made worse by pandemic
Clinical social worker with Memorial Health, Jennifer Welch, says getting caught up in traditions can also bring on sadness and even anxiety. She says there’s no right way to cope with how someone may be feeling, but she says coming up with new traditions or having someone to talk to can really help. “Leading up to the holidays and we have these expectations for what the holidays are supposed to look like and so managing our expectations around that, acknowledging what we’re feeling. Sometimes we don’t even know what we’re feeling, we become really overwhelmed, the holidays are really stressful, maybe we’re used to traditions and celebrating with family members and we don’t have them with us any longer,” said Welch.

Elizabeth Hartford is a member:
Oxford County social worker writes children’s book
Sun Journal
Elizabeth Hartford, a social worker who lives in Woodstock, has written “The Bear and the Chair,” a fun book for children to learn coping skills. She is on a mission to help children manage stress. Based on a real-life bear and chair, this sweet book teaches early readers a “Bear Skill” for handling anxiety. The book is aimed at children 4-7 years old but is well-suited for all ages. Adults and children can practice settling nerves reading about Isabelle and her friends. Hartford is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a certified yoga instructor. During twenty-three years as an outpatient therapist, she watched anxiety disorders grow out of control, only to be magnified by the pandemic.

Pamela Pater-Ennis is a member:
[Video] Out and in the pulpit: NJ minister seeks to help lesbian clergy find acceptance
As an ordained minister and clinical social worker for over three decades, Bergenfield’s Pamela Pater-Ennis has grown all-too familiar with what she calls “religious trauma.” Many of her clients have been abused by clergy, ostracized by religiously judgmental families, or rejected from their churches when they came out as gay, she recalled in a recent interview. Faith is supposed to offer a sanctuary from suffering. But it can turn ugly, said Pater-Ennis, 62, who runs an interfaith counseling service with offices in Teaneck and Hoboken. Her mission, she said, is to help people “make sense of it when religion turns bad.”

Wren Gould is a member:
Studies show LGBTQ people at higher risk of eating disorders, self-harm
Pennsylvania Capital-Star
Just as psychological trauma can manifest in an eating disorder, it can also manifest in other types of self-harm and thoughts of suicide, which also tend to occur at higher rates among LGBTQ individuals. “Transgender people tend to show really considerable risk compared to LGBTQ people in general,” said Wren Gould, licensed clinical social worker at the Einstein Healthcare Network. They focus on providing their clients with LGBTQ-competent services.

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