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News Items – January 6, 2022

news items logo oneAlison Boleware is government relations director for NASW-TX:
Mental health issues intensify as omicron takes over the holiday season
“Well, we know that a lot of people are really experiencing, you know, another grief process with this, you know, the grief of having to acknowledge that things aren’t going to look like they want to this holiday season,” said Alison Mohr Boleware, with the National Association of Social Workers Texas. “We know that for people, it’s a shock. So, for people to have to change plans suddenly or to have to acknowledge that they won’t get to see as many people this year as they were hoping to.”

Jennifer Thompson is executive director of NASW-NJ:
Syringe programs save lives in New Jersey
As social workers, we believe in the right to self-determination. As such, we begin our work with people struggling with substance use wherever they are on the spectrum of possible use — including those who are not yet able to stop or curtail their use — and we do so without stigma or shame. Syringe access services are often the entry point for further treatment, and one of the best tools we have to end the overdose crisis. This is a public health approach to this public health crisis.

Ann Wilder is a member:
Self-compassion can be good for the heart, UPMC research finds
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Two local mental health practitioners, who were not involved with the study, said the research supports what they see in their work with patients. Ann Wilder, a licensed clinical social worker at Magee Women’s Hospital in the behavioral health division, uses the practice of mindfulness with her clients, with positive results. “Self-compassion is an important attribute to develop in the therapeutic process because it allows for an acceptance of life on life’s terms, through kindness towards oneself,” said Ms. Wilder, who also sees patients in private practice at Today Has Purpose in Canonsburg.

Melissa Bannerot is a member:
Resources for those recovering from addiction
“A lot of times, this is a time of the year where in the past, this is a time of the year when you had a family. So even if you think you have family currently, might reminisce about their family that they’re cut off from a long time ago,” said Melissa Bannerot, a Colorado Springs Licensed Clinical Social Worker. “It would be really good to just reach out to someone and just say, “Hey, you know, can you just sit with me?” It’s important, also, to find someone who is okay with you being happy, sad, mad and also, even, just reach out with someone or a group of people that you can have fun and be in the moment.”

Karol Ward is a member:
10 Issues to inquire about Your Spouse To Evaluate Their Own Commitment
Karol Ward, a licensed psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, implies that you pay close attention to whether your spouse talks about long-term, loyal affairs within their unique goals. If you don’t, they could never be prepared to agree to a serious relationship.

Kayti McDaniel is a member:
Stop Parental Multitasking — You’re Not Actually Getting More Done
Scary Mommy
Kayti McDaniel, a licensed clinical social worker and California-based therapist pointed out another problem with multitasking: “Multitasking can actually be experienced as a threat to your nervous system,” she tells Scary Mommy. “This can trigger your body’s stress response.” McDaniel described stress and anxiety symptoms like a pounding heart, muscle tension, chest pains, sweating, difficulty taking a deep breath, and headaches — all things most parents have felt at one time or another.

James Toy was a member:
Michigan’s first openly gay man, prominent Ann Arbor LGBTQ activist, dies at 91
The person widely considered to be Michigan’s first openly gay man and one of its most prominent LGBTQ activists has passed away, several officials announced. Jim Toy, 91, died Saturday on New Year’s Day, said Washtenaw County Commissioner Jason Morgan on social media. Morgan and many officials spoke to Toy’s advocacy for gay issues since the 1970s, where he raised awareness and wrote policies to protect the homosexual community from discrimination.… A clinical social worker by training, he graduated with his master’s degree from the University of Michigan. He accomplished much of his work at the Ann Arbor-based university, serving as the diversity coordinator in the former Office of Institutional Equity until 2008.

Why your local library might be hiring a social worker
Yanna McGraw works at the Central Library in downtown Indianapolis. A big part of her job is building relationships with visitors and helping answer their questions. But the information she provides is rarely about books. Instead, McGraw answers queries about the workings of the Department of Child Services. Or she helps connect patrons with mental health resources. Sometimes she helps someone find a warm place to stay for the night. McGraw is the library’s first full-time social worker — one of about a dozen employed by libraries across the Midwest.

Matt Anderson is a member:
Families Are Seen and Heard in New Child Welfare Podcast
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
“I’ve spent the past year and a half talking with parents from all over the country who have experienced the child welfare system,” Matt Anderson says. “I heard over and over that we have to start seeing parents for who they truly are and not their current circumstances. This shift in perspective has changed me and how I approach my work. My hope is that this podcast will do the same thing for our audience.”

Bridgit Dengel Gaspard is a member:
Explanation of Your Murder and Crime Dreams
Ceng News
According to licensed clinicаl sociаl worker Bridgit Dengel Gаspаrd, LCSW, “а dreаm is often а metаphor,” which meаns you cаn interpret it аs а messаge from your subconscious — or something your brаin is аttempting to tell you. According to mysticаl prаctitioner Shаwn Engel, this is why dreаm meаnings differ from person to person. While there аre some universаl dreаm meаnings, it’s аlwаys more helpful to interpret your dreаms bаsed on your own experiences.

Kevin Polky is a member:
Mental wellness a necessity before and after a traumatic event
After Tuesday’s shooting in the parking lot of Auburn High School, some parents may be faced for the first time with conversations about gun violence with their students. But Kevin Polky, a licensed clinical social worker, believes those conversations do not have to be difficult. “They’re struggling with their mental health for a multitude of different reasons,” Polky said. Parents can preserve their students’ mental health by having practical and calm conversations about their students’ feelings and the facts of a traumatic event.

Barbara Longan is a member:
New Year’s breakups – Why do they happen?
Traditionally, divorces tend to increase early in the new year. But therapist and licensed clinical social worker Barbara Longan says the decision usually isn’t a spur of the moment type. “I think you need to keep in mind that rarely is it sudden um almost all of these cases the problems were pre-existing, this is not something that just came on in January, the relationship’s already had difficulties,” said Longan. So why do many couples wait until the new year to call it quits?

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