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News Items – March 18, 2021

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Roberta Greene is a member:
The Key to Building Resilience in a Crisis
Time Magazine
Rather than some elusive goal or character trait we may or may not possess, resilience is accessible to everyone. “It is a naturally occurring phenomenon,” says Roberta Greene, a clinical social worker and professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. “All people are resilient to certain degrees.” Resilience can, in part, be nurtured from within. Greene encourages people to consider what can be positive about their future, and what actions have helped them weather difficult events in the past.

Margaret Cochran is a member:
[Audio] How to adjust as society starts to return to normal
It’s been a year since life slammed to a halt across America and people retreated into the safety of their homes. “People are experiencing what I affectionately refer to as ‘pandemic poop out’,” said Dr. Margaret Cochran, a transpersonal psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker. “People are exhausted. They’ve just had adrenal stress forever, their bodies have been filled with a lot of very, very powerful chemicals – and not good ones – and their bodies are feeling that stress.”

Heather Berry is a member:
Pandemic’s ripple effect of mental health issues could last years
Bakersfield Californian
Heather Berry, a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice in the Kern River Valley, has been a mental health provider for more than 30 years. Berry described the impact of social isolation on those who already lived alone as a “double whammy.” But the pandemic and its emotional and psychological effects are virtually universal. “The overall view is that we have all suffered greatly. I mean, who hasn’t?” Berry said. “Fear, irritability, exhaustion, uncertainty, tension in relationships … no one is coming out of this untouched.”

Vidya Duff is a member:
Student mental health: A year of increased need, creative solutions and recognizing warning signs
School counselors are seeing similar issues. The isolation and lack of socialization caused by COVID is creating a “significant” demand for services, said Vidya Duff, an APS school social worker who works at Aurora West. “School is one thing that is constant and predictable for students, and this year that has changed,” she said.

Social workers make important contributions to schools
San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco public schools are fortunate to have many different types of staff who support students. Today, in recognition of National School Social Worker Month, I want to celebrate our school social workers who are essential to completing school communities. School social workers are trained mental health professionals who focus on coordinating the efforts of schools, families and communities toward helping students improve their academic achievement and social, emotional and behavioral competence by using the unique perspective of viewing the person in their environment.

Lauren Zingraff is a member:
As many NC nursing homes open to visitors, advocates say they’ll watch the details
North Carolina Health News
The longstanding North Carolina nonprofit Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care, known as FOR, offered a more upbeat assessment of the CMS changes. “After a year of heartbreaking visitation restrictions, FOR is relieved to see the new CMS guidelines that allow indoor visitations in nursing homes,” executive director Lauren Zingraff told North Carolina Health News. “We are encouraged that these new guidelines will be the catalyst for family reunification.”

Wisconsin Republicans Move To Protect Conversion Therapy
CBS Minnesota
The National Association of Social Workers’ Wisconsin chapter and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy have registered against the bill. No organizations have registered in favor. Amanda Anderson, chairwoman of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, said the organization believes conversion therapy tells people they have no right to be homosexual and the therapy examining board should decide what practices are allowed, not legislators. “We want the professionals setting the standards for professionals,” Anderson said.

Maria Garcia is a member:
Why Helping Grieving Students Heal Matters So Much
School social worker Maria Garcia keeps a list on her computer. It’s not the kind of list anyone wants to have; it’s not a list of dream vacations or birthday gifts for her three kids or even groceries to pick up. It’s a list of all her students’ family members who have died from coronavirus: 35 and counting. Garcia works at a public elementary school in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where she also grew up. Named for a park that sits in view of the Statue of Liberty, it’s a neighborhood Garcia describes as vibrant and resilient, “with many people seeking to better their lives.”

Collaboration with police divides social workers across US
ABC News
But advocates of collaboration between social workers and police point to how ingrained law enforcement is into American society as evidence of the need for acting within that framework. “I just think it’s difficult in the current society we live in to say we can’t work with police officers when they’re so embedded in our communities right now,” NASW North Carolina executive director Valerie Arendt said. “I think social workers can and do amazing work within these systems.”

Nathalie Theodore is a member:
It’s not just you: Why everyone is super exhausted right now
Nathalie Theodore, JD, LCSW, a psychotherapist in Chicago, told Salon it could have to do with the fact that as a society, we’ve been living under the grip of chronic stress for one year now. From ongoing lockdowns to social distancing, many of the outlets that would usually alleviate a person’s stress have been taken away from us for an extended period of time.


The merit of social workers on Social Workers Day | Opinion
To many, March is just another month on the calendar year, but to social workers, this is our month. World Social Workers Day is March 16. National Social Work Month was first organized in March of 1963 by the National Association of Social Workers as a way to encourage public support for the profession. Fifty-four years later, the theme for social work month is “Social Workers are essential.”

Bill addresses staffing, cameras, infection control in nursing homes
The Day (CT)
Stephen Wanczyk-Karp, executive director of the state’s chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, is particularly interested in the part of the bill that would lower the ratio of beds to social workers. It’s currently 120 to 1, which he said “bears no resemblance to the needs and the care of the residents, and it really leaves the social workers with far too little time to accomplish their work.” Wanczyk-Karp also supports the section requiring the administrator of each long-term care facility to ensure each resident’s care plan addresses their potential for isolation and ability to interact with family members and friends, how social and emotional needs will be met, and opportunities for in-person and virtual visitation, and to disclose changes to visitation protocols.

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