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News Items – June 17, 2020

news items logo oneAngelo McClain is executive director of NASW:
Social workers critical in fight against coronavirus
Boston Herald
It’s said that the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. Yet minorities and low-income people are contracting the virus, and dying, at disproportionate rates. COVID-19 has also made life more difficult for marginalized groups, including victims of domestic violence, older adults, and those without adequate housing or transportation. America’s 700,000-strong corps of social workers specialize in addressing these social determinants of health. Their contributions will be crucial to ensuring that those for whom the coronavirus poses the greatest risk get the care they need. Our health-care system needs to recognize that fact — and pay them like the essential workers they are.

Letter to WSJ from Angelo McClain:
Social Workers Cooperate With Police Forces
The Wall Street Journal
Social workers already work alongside and in partnership with police departments across the nation. Strengthening social worker and police partnerships can be an effective strategy in addressing behavioral health, mental health, substance use, homelessness, family disputes and other similar calls to 911 emergency response lines.  In fact, social workers are playing an increasingly integral role in police forces, helping officers do their jobs more effectively and humanely and become better attuned to cultural and racial biases.

Diana Anzaldua is a member:
8 expert tips for adjusting to the “new normal” of life in the big cities
Hello Giggles
Anxiety is normal, especially in the midst of a global health crisis. “Anxiety comes from fear, unpredictability, and the unknown of what’s going to happen,” Diana Anzaldua, licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist, tells HelloGiggles. Try not to feel shame or embarrassment at feeling anxious; instead, work to normalize, understand, and better manage your anxiety.

Ronnie Tyson is a member:
Rebound Mid-Michigan – Identifying Risks & Caring For Mental Health During COVID-19
LANSING, Mich. — Ronnie Tyson LMSW, CAADC, CCS, a Social Worker and Director of Outpatient Services at Odyssey Village in Flint Michigan talked with us today about identifying risks & caring for mental health during COVID-19.

Connie Gibson is a member:
Logging on to therapy: Mental health centers embrace telehealth
When clinical social worker Connie Gibson went to school for her master’s degree, one thing definitely wasn’t a specific part of the curriculum: “How To Help Clients Through COVID: 101.” “Have we been trained to handle this? Sure. Have we been specifically trained to deal with pandemics? No.” said Gibson, a therapist at First Street Center in Waconia.

Victor Armstrong is a member:
For Black youth, a time of upheaval takes a toll on mental health
There are also cultural barriers, including a stigma about mental health issues, Victor Armstrong, director of mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, told STAT. “Rather than being able to express the pain, fear and anger, what we’re told when we’re young is that we should suck it up and be strong — our great-great grandparents survived slavery and our grandparents survived Jim Crow,” said Armstrong, a clinical social worker.

Amber Kelly is a member:
Should police be social workers?
CT Mirror
But change is possible. Amber Kelly, a clinical social worker based in New Haven and an assistant professor at Quinnipiac University, said it is a “failure of imagination” to rely on police to solve such nuanced social and public health dilemmas. “We need to come up with systems other than policing to deal with these social problems.”

Myrna McNitt is a member:
Activists: Public ‘tipping point’ may be at hand over structural racism, but changing the system will take time
The Herald-Palladium (MI)
Structural racism is the racism that has been historically embedded in our society through its institutions: schools, housing, the economy, health care and government – “virtually every area of social interaction,” said Myrna McNitt, a Lake Michigan College sociology professor. “Racism holds a place in our implicit and explicit biases toward other people and that’s how it gets expressed as an individual, as well as on the structural level.” McNitt is a clinical social worker and does community development work all around the world, in addition to teaching sociology.

Jonathan Singer is a member:
The Coming Era of Millennial Despair
The Atlantic
The difference between what we have and what others have can prompt the bone-deep shame that leads to suicidal ideation, says Jonathan Singer, an associate professor of social work at Loyola University Chicago and the president of the American Association of Suicidology. People might start to feel like a burden or, if they’re unable to land a job, like they have no way of building a social network. More so than in other cultures, Americans tend to intertwine their jobs with their identity. “In the United States, if somebody is unemployed, we see that as an indication of bad character,” Singer told me.

Marissa Fors is a member:
Identifying the Needs of Men With Breast Cancer
Oncology Nursing News
Men with breast cancer often face unique challenges. This diagnosis can be shocking, and may bring about feelings of isolation, shame, and emasculation. A lack of awareness of male breast cancer, along with responses from others, contribute to these emotions. As health care providers, actions can be taken to better understand the experiences of male breast cancer patients and ensure an inclusive and supportive environment.

Kimberly Setterlund is a member:
Social Work Career Pathways You Can Pursue with an MSW Degree
Azusa Pacific University
“Every student has their calling and pathway,” said Kimberly Setterlund, MSW, LCSW, director of the MSW program at Azusa Pacific University. She explained that at APU, the school’s mission is to enable students to effect change wherever they are. She said that the MSW degree path encourages students to follow their passion, whether it’s to make an impact individually, in their community, or through policy and advocacy. “Our mission is to prepare them ethically, holistically, and well to serve our community and world,” said Setterlund.

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