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News Items – June 10, 2022

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Tracy Levine is a member:
Understanding COVID’s impact on teen mental health
Evanston Now
Now layer in two years of COVID health concerns, school via computer, and not seeing your friends except on a small screen. And don’t forget racial tensions following the George Floyd murder, inflation in the cost of everything, and the war in Ukraine. Tracy Levine, a licensed clinical social worker, says a teen told her that “I’m graduating and I’m looking at World War III.” Not good. The name of an upcoming conference at Evanston Township High School says it all: “It’s Tough Enough: Adolescent Mental Health in Our Changing World.”

Alison Trenk is a member:
The Depp-Heard trial highlights the importance of talking to teens about dating violence
“Validating their emotions is important because young relationships can be incredibly emotionally charged,” said Alison Trenk, a licensed clinical social worker and relationship therapist who works with teens and young adults. “They’re trying on dating with only a handful of years of life experience.” But don’t start trying to solve their problems right away — Trenk warns that if you immediately go into response mode, it will shut down the conversation.

Cindy Garthwait is a member:
Cindy Garthwait: Imagine
Imagine learning that today your child or grandchild tried to run from an armed shooter at school in your small Montana town, but tragically did not escape. Imagine their terror as they saw their teacher and friends murdered. Imagine them calling out to you in horror, wearing a shirt you bought them for their birthday. Visualize their teachers sacrificing themselves for your child. Imagine the surviving children traumatized by the carnage.

Victoria Rhodin is a member:
Victoria Rhodin: Housing, finances and a young VT family — a cautionary tale
A young Vermont family I know recently asked me for advice about buying a house. They are the kind of people of whom elders would say, “They know how to work” — both have held jobs since they were 12 or 14 years old, and grew up with the traditional ethic that you live within your means as best you can and don’t borrow money if you can avoid it. Their recent interest in buying a house was inspired by the fact that their landlord intends to sell the house where they’ve lived for several years out from under them. They are worried a new owner will raise the rent beyond what they can afford.

Maria Maldonado-Morales is a member:
What the shooting in Uvalde has meant for the Latino community
Cap Radio
It’s been a little over a week since the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School. While the entire nation is reeling, the tragedy is hitting Latinos particularly hard, as they see the names and the photos of victims who look and sound like them. That’s added a complicated layer of grief and trauma onto the community, says Maria Maldonado Morales, a clinical social worker at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

Uvalde Residents Struggle To Find Access To Mental Health Care To Cope
Will Francis is with the National Association of Social Workers in Texas. “I would not call this a mental health crisis. I would call it a mental health response to a crisis of violence. But our mental health services were already woefully underfunded,” he said. “There are over 50 counties that don’t even have a clinical social worker in them.” Francis says Texas leaders made a political choice not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which leaves funding on the table. “It’s tragic and it means there’s over a million people in a coverage gap,” he continued.

Dawn Sánchez is a member:
How a Majority BIPOC Worker Co-Op Is Disrupting the Field of Therapy
Next City
When Dawn Sánchez takes on a new therapy client, she’s upfront about the money stuff. At the Alliance Psychological Services of New York, the out-of-pocket costs for people without insurance is, ideally, $80 or $90 per session. That money goes toward operating costs like an electronic health record as well as hourly pay for all the workers, set at $40 an hour. But the therapy rate is flexible—a negotiable sliding scale based on the needs of the patient and decided by consensus among the rest of the therapists. S

Sharon Kaye-O’Connor is a member:
Understanding the Role of a Service Dog for Autism
It’s this relationship that enables a service dog to help its human. Licensed clinical social worker Sharon Kaye-O’Connor explains, “Dogs can be so incredibly attuned to the emotions and experiences of their people, so a service dog can often sense when their human is experiencing elevated anxiety, distress, or headed for a meltdown. “The dog can then intervene by providing emotional comfort, sensory support (deep pressure by leaning against them or laying across their lap) or leading them to a safer or quieter place.”

Dennis Anderson is a member:
D-Day and Antelope Valley vets
Antelope Valley Press
It is the 78th Anniversary of D-Day and while no longer much remembered or greatly noted in the United States, except for streaming views of “Saving Private Ryan,” “Band of Brothers” and “The Longest Day,” it signified the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe from the nightmare of the occupation by the Nazis. It was a significant waypoint in the defeat of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.

Angel Bunton is a member:
Portsmouth community comes together to discuss link between violence and mental health
Angel Bunton is a licensed clinical social worker. She said mental health and crime are heavily connected. “A lot of people who have been incarcerated and things like that have experienced a good deal of trauma as so as opposed to being reactionary. I think it’s very important that we get in front of the problem,” she said. Bunton said even people who just drive by the crime scenes or experience trauma second hand can be affected.

Jessica Jaramillo is a member:
Health experts monitoring troubling trend among young Kentuckians
“Parents need to be asking those questions directly to their kids,” said Jessica Jaramillo, licensed clinical social worker and owner of Southland Child, Adult & Family Counseling. “It has been a debunked concern that asking about suicide is actually going to make someone suicidal. That is false, but it is essentially letting that person know ‘I hear you. I see you. I’m concerned about you. I’m worried about you. What can I do to help you and support you?’ and validate them and nurture them.”

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