News Items – January 20, 2016
Lisa Gwyther is a member:
Tar Heel: Lisa Gwyther is a one-woman support team for families dealing with Alzheimer’s
Lisa Gwyther had no inkling that she would spend her career supporting families affected by Alzheimer’s when she started as a social worker at Duke Medical Center in the late 1970s. The national Alzheimer’s Association hadn’t yet formed, and awareness of the disease, which causes severe dementia and has no known cure, was minimal. But when she met families dealing with Alzheimer’s, Gwyther started chipping away at the myriad of problems they faced – starting support groups, a newsletter and a 24-hour hotline while also helping to connect families across the state with needed resources. In the process, she became a national expert on the topic and has been active in local, state and national efforts to provide care for Alzheimer’s patients and their families.
Matt Epperson is a member:
Op-Ed Contributor: Where Police Violence Encounters Mental Illness
The New York Times
[Matthew Epperson is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.] NEARLY 20 years ago, I was a social worker in a county jail where I first began to understand just how frequently the police deal with people with mental illnesses. Run-ins with the police were a regular occurrence for many of my clients, with officers often knowing them by name. They were overwhelmingly poor, and poor people with mental illnesses are also likely to experience homelessness and substance abuse — issues that place them at increased risk of police contact and incarceration.
Evelyn Tomaszewski is mentioned:
Homelessness and HIV/AIDS: Challenges abound in LGBT community
As the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) states in their report “HIV/AIDS and Homelessness,” authored by Evelyn P. Tomaszewski, “Studies indicate that the prevalence of HIV among homeless people is as high as 20 percent, with some ‘subgroups’ having much higher burdens of disease.”
More than 160 school social workers to be hired in Nevada
The Tampa Tribune
State officials have awarded $5.6 million in grants to hire more than 160 social workers and mental health professionals in Nevada schools. The awards are part of a broad anti-bullying initiative coordinated by Nevada’s new Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment. Eleven districts and six charter schools received funding. Students were recently surveyed on the health of their school climate, and awards were based in part on which schools needed the most intervention.
Mississippi Fights to Keep Control of Its Beleaguered Child Welfare System
The New York Times
More than a decade later, after a 2008 settlement and an admission by the state in July that it had never complied with the requirements, Mississippi is now trying to avoid becoming the first state to have its child welfare system put in receivership and an outside group hired to run it. And at a time when 19 states are facing system-wide lawsuits that claim high rates of abuse and neglect of children and serious foster home shortages, Mississippi has become a case study in just how long and egregiously a state system meant to protect children can continue with substandard care that is out of compliance with a court order.
Edward Harper is a member:
After holidays is good time to check on aging family members
The Daily Times [Maryville, TN]
Blount Memorial Hospital licensed clinical social worker Edward Harper says because of this, the post-holiday months of January and February can become the “season of caregivers.” “After those family visits around Thanksgiving and Christmas, January becomes a time of phone calls, texts and emails between siblings or parents and children to discuss the things they observed and experienced over the holidays,” Harper said. “These conversations are important because they’re an attempt to reach an understanding and consensus about the abilities of parents or elder family members, consider if there is a need for assistance and discuss how the perceived need could be approached. Caregiving in its early stages is a progressive response to a sensing of need, which can be a confusing process. To offer care can feel like an intrusive or disrespectful act of interfering with the independence of the parents or an impaired relative. It also can feel threatening when knowing that any offer of care or assistance could be met with admonishment and anger,” he explained.