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News Items – February 21, 2018



Lynn Zakeri is a member:
What mental health experts say to their kids about school shootings
Valley News (Skokie, IL)
If your child is really upset about this or other issues, that’s okay too. Allow them to experience those feelings rather than to suppress them. “[My son] is inundated with violent videos being shared on Snapchat of fights at school,” says Lynn Zakeri, a licensed clinical social worker and the mother of two adolescents. “I talked with him recently about allowing himself to have feelings about these videos: be overwhelmed; be worried; be sad; be scared, and then, more importantly, have empathy. These are natural responses. Allow them to happen.”

Sasha Fassett is a member:
How to talk to children about school safety (Binghamton, NY)
The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has sparked many discussions. One of them being school safety. “We want to empower our children. So we want them to feel empowered to be able to be able to handle whatever comes. So yes, we have to talk about it,” said Sasha Fassett, a licensed clinical social worker for Associates of Psychotherapy in Endicott. She says even at a young age, kids should be informed about the importance of staying safe.

Janice Mitchell is a member:
Therapist stresses importance of asking kids ‘How are you?’
Janice Mitchell is a senior clinical director and licensed clinical social worker with the Center for Human Development. Mitchell was asked about mental health issues middle- and high-school students face as they develop. The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts recently surveyed some 1,277 Springfield Public Schools eighth graders about their feelings, including suicidal thoughts, and whom they turn to for help when feeling sad or hopeless.

Maribeth Lichty is a member:
[Video] How to consume media in times of tragedy
WZVN (Ft. Myers, FL)
A clinical social worker, Maribeth Lichty, explained how to approach your kids about this incident best and how to consume it with them. “You want to find out what they know,” Lichty said. She also mentioned starting the conversation early regarding incidents of terror. That’s to make sure you know if your children are having trouble handling it emotionally. But, only start that conversation when you’re ready. “You want to make sure you deal with your stress, your anxiety, and your feelings so you’re not projecting yours on your children [and] so you’re not scaring them,” Lichty said.

Social Workers advocate licensing standards
WJTV12 (Jackson, MS)
They protect our most vulnerable. Now social workers want to make sure the reputation of their profession is protected. Social workers went to the Capitol Thursday to advocate for HB988, a bill which would hold stringent educational and licensing standards in place. Licensing practices began in Mississippi in 1987 in an effort to make sure people are properly educated and licensed to work with our most vulnerable populations. Social work licensing involves training at the Bachelor or Masters level from a college or university program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), national examination by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), supervision, and adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and defined scope of practice.

Kristen Lilla is a member:
Could You Be Asexual? Here’s How To Know
Women’s Health
According to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, “an asexual person is a person who does not experience sexual attraction.” Sounds simple enough. But asexuality is often confused with having low libido, which is a clinical diagnosis that could be caused by a variety of medical reasons. (Think: depression totally tanking your sex drive for a few months or even years.) Unlike having a low libido, asexuality is not a medical condition, does not come and go, and is in no way a “disorder” that could or should be treated, says Kristen Lilla, L.C.S.W., a certified sex therapist and sexuality educator in Nebraska. Instead, asexuality is a sexual orientation, just like being straight, gay, or bi.

Marc Herstand is executive director of NASW-WI:
Autism and mental health advocates worried about losing insurance coverage
Marc Herstand, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, is also concerned that self-funded small businesses wouldn’t have to provide coverage for mental health treatment. “We don’t need to go backwards in this country,” Herstand said. “We’ve made some progress now that mental health and substance abuse are covered right now, and particularly with the opioid epidemic that is affecting people across the country.”

Michael Forster is a member:
USM Will Have Majority of Presenters, Posters at State Social Work Conference
The University of Southern Mississippi
University of Southern Mississippi faculty, staff, students and alumni will make nearly half of the presentations at the annual conference this year for the Mississippi chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Overall, 25 individuals with ties to the School of Social Work will be presenting at 17 of the 37 NASW sessions – including closing remarks from Dr. Michael Forster – at the conference March 7-9 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Five of the 17 presentations are by social work alumni who are working as professional practitioners or in academia.

It’s Time To Prove To Hawaii That Women Matter
Honolulu Civil Beat
There are many ways to create a new culture. Instead of vilifying individual men, we decided to lead by example by offering free legal and cultural trainings about the gender system and how we can each create new conditions that make sex discrimination, including harassment and assault, unlikely to occur in the workplace. We knew the tide was turning when institutions as diverse as the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney on Kauai to the National Association of Social Workers invited us to train their members.

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