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News Items – June 10, 2020

news items logo oneAlison Boleware is government relations director for NASW-TX:
In rural Texas, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought more accessible mental health care
The Texas Tribune
The pandemic has almost certainly exacerbated existing anxiety or depression diagnoses and brought on new ones, said Alison Boleware, a director for the National Association of Social Workers in TexasSocial workers and therapists in the state have their hands full with an influx of both old and new patients…. And for rural Texans, the stigma of seeking help for mental issues can also be a significant obstacle. Some Texans still view mental health issues as a moral failing, Boleware said.

Susanne Riemer is a member:
Maps Counseling Services Peterborough clinicians give encouragement during pandemic
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
School-aged students miss their friends and talk about how they struggle with completing school work when they are at home and not in the classroom near their teacher. Many worry about getting sick or having a loved one affected by the COVID-19 virus, LICSW Susanne Riemer said. Adults talk about how each day feels like every other, since they rarely leave home, and notice increased or decreased sleep, which can indicate depression.

Devon Lewis-Buchanan is a member:
WLRN Connects: Handling Anxiety Amid The Pandemic And Racial Justice Protests
Devon Lewis-Buchanan is a registered clinical social worker and former college athlete. He’s the founder of Inspire Youths, an organization that brings behavioral health education to marginalized communities in Palm Beach County. He says representation in the mental health field is an important factor to alivate trauma in distressed communities; young black boys relate to him but he also “sees himself in a lot of the young men he serves.”

Susan Townsley is a member:
Governor Evers makes appointments to Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity
Governor Evers today named leaders from around the state to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity. The governor announced the commission during his State of the State speech in January. The commission will work on developing long-term strategies on how Wisconsin can best support the needs of rural Wisconsin communities…. The commission is expected to hold listening sessions around the state later this summer on the impact of COVID-19 on rural communities and businesses, as well as the challenges and opportunities the pandemic has created.

Michelle England is a member:
Health experts worry ‘quarantine fatigue’ could lead to more COVID cases
Detroit Lakes Online
“We’re concerned that in some aspect, people are done with it (social distancing),” said Michelle England, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s. “They’ve decided that they’re not very concerned, which is concerning … What I’m seeing is that people may be letting their guards down, especially in public. I’m seeing people going into stores and not masking, and that leads to problems, like breakouts.”

Rick Miller is a member:
Amid pandemic, homeowners, their children, and designers turn to these ‘alone spaces’
One doesn’t need a dedicated space to meditate, however. Rick Miller, a clinical social worker with private practices in Boston and Cape Cod, reminds us that peace is a state of mind. He asserts that people can draw on memories of a beautiful place that inspires them to conjure calm. “It’s a combination of physical space and internal space that contributes to one’s mindset,’’ Miller explained.

Seon Thompson is a member:
Feeling more anxious? You’re not alone, says social worker
Mid-Michigan Now
Seon Thompson, a Flint-based licensed clinical social worker, said the images and turmoil could be worsening existing problems like anxiety and depression. He suggested taking a break from social media or negative news. “People have to have some kind of detach–some kind of detox, especially with constant exposure.”

Will Francis is executive director of NASW-TX:
Process To Terminate Parental Rights Varies Widely By State
For legal reasons, children in foster care can be adopted only after a termination of parental rights. Critics of the Texas system say it is sometimes too quick to conclude that adoption is the best outcome for a child, and doesn’t give biological parents an adequate chance to address problems so their child could stay with them. “We give up on parents very quickly in Texas,” said Will Francis, government relations director at the Texas chapter of National Association of Social Workers. “We believe adoptions are much more of a cure-all than they really are.”

Hayden Dawes is a member:
Hayden Dawes: An Invitation to White therapists
Since 2012, I have fallen in love with the art, science, and practice of psychotherapy. Spaces created by this discipline serve as oxygen to the crushing suffocation of the anti-black, homophobic circumstances permeating the air, which I strive to breathe. Learning how to be a therapist has not only sharpened my eyes to see myself more clearly, but it has honed my ability to see my colleagues and the world. I believe the world can be changed by clearly seeing ourselves and others. It is with love and dedication to help us see ourselves, as therapists, that I offer this invitation.

Montrella Cowan is a member:
Montrella Cowan, Relationship Coach, Interviewed on Inspired Living TV
Digital Journal
Montrella Cowan, MSW, LICSW  was interviewed by Keri Murphy on Inspired Living TV.  She is a courageous mother and inspiring mentor who has earned the title “Love” Fairy Godmother. Cowan works with both couples and singles looking to create and nurture love in their lives. Murphy said, “When it comes to love, many of us have consumed far too many Disney movies!  Reality is often quite different though, especially in today’s unprecedented circumstances. Over the last few months, many people have lost loved ones—even their moms. Some are sheltering all alone, others can’t get a moment to themselves.”

Pam Harrison is a member:
Utah’s medical cannabis industry helping some, but rollout still incomplete
“It’s just complicated. It’s more complicated than most people can appreciate,” said Pam Harrison, an Ogden advocate and licensed clinical social worker who has frequently discussed the benefits of medical cannabis with her clients. Prices might level off as more cannabis is grown, producers process it into the broader range of products patients seek, and more pharmacies open. Harrison has heard two or three more pharmacies could be opening by July. Meantime, though, the industry moves ahead in “starts and fits,” she said.

Ashley Fletcher is a member:
[Video] Three Steps to Healing from Trauma
Springfield Business Journal (MO)
Ashley Fletcher, licensed clinical social worker says many things in today’s climate are traumatic. She says creating a safe, supportive environment is one of the first steps in the healing process.

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