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News Items – January 20, 2022

news items logo oneNYPD: Woman dies after being pushed in front of subway train
The incident came a week after [New York Mayor Eric] Adams and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul vowed to beef up the police presence on the city’s subway system, announcing a program sending teams of dozens of social workers to shepherd homeless riders into shelters. Under the “Safe Options Support Teams” program, NYPD will refer homeless people they encounter to the new teams unless there’s criminal activity that requires immediate attention. Adams reiterated his backing for the program Saturday.

Christine Cocchiola is a member:
It’s Post-Separation Legal Abuse, Not High Conflict Divorce
Psychology Today
These cases are marked by one “high conflict litigant” who exerts power by dragging their ex into court repeatedly. In other words, an abuser creates a series of court complications to make a divorce or custody case impossible to resolve, so it continues for years. The problem is not the couple—the problem is one member of the couple and should be handled accordingly. The abuser wants the case to drag on, relishing these opportunities to continue to make the ex-partner suffer.

Yurilka Hernandez is a member:
Yurilka Hernandez, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker with Psychotherapy Today
Yurilka is a licensed clinical social worker currently serving patients at her private practice, Psychotherapy Today. Based in New York, she guides patients through life’s most complex and difficult matters. She truly cares about each client’s wellbeing and guarantees top-of-the-line counseling and psychotherapy services catered to their needs. “Therapy is such a personal journey. As a therapist, I believe that therapy should be alive and engaging. I pride myself on offering a space where therapy is a tool for us to connect and for me to be able to relate to you. The old school model may not work for you; I have experience with the old model and new model psychoanalytic approaches” expressed Yurilka.

Brooke Sheehan is a member:
Battling Stigma: Serving Previously-Incarcerated Clients in the Community
So why do I write all this? I write this because I’m betting there are other correctional social workers and clinicians out there who feel the weight of this just like I do. Society has an interesting way of tucking away those it sees as “undesirable” and then looking away, assuming either that these individuals will not reintegrate into society or somehow magically will. These individuals will of course be walking down our streets with us, they may live next door, or they may stand behind us at the pharmacy. If we know people who end up incarcerated will return back into society, why are we not providing them access to services?

WV’s lack of CPS workers means kids don’t get help. The problem isn’t new, and is getting worse.
Mountain State Spotlight
But the issue is nothing new. The state has struggled with its CPS vacancy rate for decades, and there are 71% more children in state custody now than there were a decade ago. Sam Hickman led West Virginia’s chapter of the National Association of Social Workers from 1985 until his retirement last year. The CPS shortage was an issue through his entire tenure addressing state lawmakers, he said. “[It] has increased in severity over time,” Hickman said. “Efforts to work with DHHR can be frustrated by periodic changes in administrations and leadership.”

John Wolfe is a member:
More Americans have depression, anxiety symptoms while coping with pandemic isolation
Mental health professionals are seeing the same struggles. “My practice is probably seeing anywhere, 35 to 40% increase of people coming in, specifically around the pandemic,” said John Wolfe, licensed clinical social worker with Horizon Counseling Services, LLC. “It’s unending, seemingly so.” Wolfe said if you are one of those people feeling depressed, remember to follow a simple acronym: “RED.” “R for rest, and of course rest includes you’re sleeping,” Wolfe explained, “E is exercise. And so, what we suggest is a moderate level of exercise. Diet. The last one, the D is for diet. Watch those calories and carbs. But all in all, with those things in mind, you also want to be optimistic.”

Laurah Pastel Shames is a member:
Are you panic buying again in the age of omicron? Join the club
Laurah Pastel Shames, a clinical social worker from Miami, noted that what has happened during this prolonged pandemic isn’t classic hoarding, which is an obsessive-compulsive disorder. “If it’s out of anxiety and fear that when I need this, I won’t be able to get it. It’s a valid fear, especially when we are kind of used to going to the supermarket and realizing the things that were easily able to be picked up are now a lot more difficult to find,” said Shames.

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