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News Items – March 25, 2021

news items logo oneHye-Kyung Kang is a member:
[Video] Seattle experts: Anti-Asian hate crimes in focus after high-profile incidents
“All this time, and finally, something like mass murder happens for people to take notice that, ‘oh wow, anti-Asian racism is real,’” said Hye-Kyung Kang, chair of the Department of Social Work at Seattle University. The tragedy that took place at three Atlanta-area spas on Tuesday spotlighted ongoing fear among the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. “We have unchecked racism, colonialism, misogyny that is overflowing,” said Kang.

Brian Rzepczynski is a member:
Master of Social Work’s Brian Rzepczynski reflects on differences between clinical social work and clinical psychology
University of New England
UNE Master of Social Work Admissions are frequently asked by potential students what the differences are between clinic social work and clinical psychology. Licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) and clinical counselors (LCPCs) and psychologists have very similar goals in that they all help patients with behavioral disorders, mental illnesses, and personal problems. All are qualified to diagnose these conditions through patient evaluation and offer treatments such as counseling and behavioral modification programs.

Marc Seidl is a member:
[Video] Brown Co. honors social workers for efforts during pandemic
Fox11 News (WI)
“We had needs with contact tracing, or with staffing of various different COVID response teams, and they continue to say, not only do their day-to-day work, but ‘how else can I help, in addition to that?’ So it was very inspiring,” Brown County Social Work Supervisor Marc Seidl said. The National Association of Social Workers says March is also National Social Work Month.

Social workers deserve thanks
Herald Star
March is Social Worker Month, and it’s a good time to thank those who are working the front lines of helping people across all socioeconomic lines. There are about 680,000 social workers across the country who have dedicated their lives to helping others. They aren’t in it for the money, since their pay is generally low. Social workers help people of every age, from protecting children to helping the elderly. They elevate and empower people, giving them the ability to solve problems, cope with personal roadblocks and get the resources they need to succeed.

W.Va. Senate passes bill to study CPS workforce
The Herald-Dispatch
The high-stress job can also be a dangerous one, officials say, and high turnover leads to burnout. “They’re not welcomed with open arms when they show up at a door. People don’t want to be questioned,” said Sam Hickman, executive director of the West Virginia chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, in 2019. “There are policies in place that suggest a caseworker can ask for (law enforcement) to accompany them, but, too often, (caseworkers) don’t want to impose.”

Caroline Koty is a member:
[Audio] How The Pandemic Is Challenging Our Understanding Of Poverty
The COVID-19 pandemic pulled an estimated eight million Americans into poverty. Millions lost jobs that kept them one paycheck away from becoming destitute, and many, like those who were formerly considered middle income, now depend on the food banks where they used to donate. There have always been poor people, but the pandemic has exposed some of the realities and conditions of poverty which are little seen and often misunderstood.

Juan Rios is a member:
Seton Hall Sports Poll Shows One Third of Americans Say Sports on TV a Positive for Mental Health in Pandemic; Majority Say March Madness Bubble Fair to Student Athletes
Seton Hall University
“The pandemic has taken its toll on all of us,” said Professor Juan Rios, a licensed clinical social worker and director of the graduate Master of Social Work program at Seton Hall University. “Sports has offered us a much needed outlet from social isolation and has functioned in some ways as a coping mechanism, providing an extension of community through collective spectatorship and camaraderie. Sports on TV has provided us with a feeling of at least some level of normalcy in an otherwise abnormal time.”

Jessica McDanold is a member:
Being educated, looking deeper important for youth mental health
Sydney Herald
Jessie McDanold, a licensed clinical social worker at Sunrise Wellness Center, said that social masking can be powerful among middle school and high school students. That is to say, that they can hide how they are truly feeling well enough that others may not notice. That’s why making sure you go beyond the outer look and find out how they are actually feeling is important, she said.

Angelo McClain: Social workers critical in post-covid world
The covid-19 pandemic isn’t just a historic public health crisis. It’s an economic and mental health crisis unlike anything in recent memory. Millions of people have lost their jobs. Americans of all ages are reporting elevated levels of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, even suicidal ideation. Sadly, there is no vaccine for the naturally reverberating consequences of this crisis. But that doesn’t mean we’re helpless against them.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposed budget could get things hopping in the legislature
North Carolina Health News
“Lobbying is about being down at the building, being in the committee rooms and meeting with legislators in the elevator or hallway,” said Valerie Arendt, a registered lobbyist for the NC Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. “A lot of us are not prepared to do that because of COVID. Some legislators are willing to meet with us virtually and some are asking us to come into the office.” She said that’s made her job harder.

Graig Meyer is a member:
Despite pitfalls, counties leave psych patient transport in sheriffs’ hands
North Carolina Health News
Several state lawmakers agreed that more needs to be done to improve the IVC process and detangle the mental health system from the law enforcement. Rep. Graig Meyer (D-Hillsborough), who is a social worker who has assisted police in de-escalating mental health crises, told NC Health News that he consistently hears from unhappy constituents about IVC transportation. “Most people are really shocked when they learn that their loved one — especially a minor — is going to be handcuffed for transport,” he said. “And they’re also just generally shocked at how little role parents and family members play once someone has been involuntarily committed.”

[Video] The Impact of COVID-19 on Social Workers
We’ve talked a lot about the role of physicians, the role of pharmacists, the role of nurses during this pandemic. But one group of professionals that we haven’t talked about is social workers. What have they been doing to help during the pandemic? What’s been the impact on the profession? So to help provide some insights, I’ve asked Melissa Haley. She is president of the National Association of Black Social Workers.

Rachel Dash-Dougherty is a member:
[Video] Clinical Social Worker shares tips for managing mental health as seasons change
As we transition from winter to spring, there can be lingering feelings of sadness, anxiety and depression. Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist Rachel Dash-Dougherty shares ways to manage your mental health during this time. Dash-Dougherty is also the founder of Grounded Therapy and Coaching, a group therapy practice in Mystic.

Tatiana Melendez is a member:
Is Post-Traumatic Growth a Thing? Psychs Weigh In on the Potential Positive Effect of Life in Lockdown
Well & Good
Licensed clinical social worker Tatiana T. Melendez, LCSW, says that more specifically, those who experience post-traumatic growth tend to be optimistic, believe in new opportunities, and be open to change. Melendez believes post-traumatic growth can be taught—even to those who do not possess those aforementioned character traits.

Christine Cocchiola is a member:
Actress Evan Rachel Wood Testifies She Was Abused by a ‘High-Profile Person’ in Hearing Connected to Jennifer Dulos Case
Law & Crime
Prof. Christine Cocchiola testified that her own ex-husband was a coercive and manipulative man who “weaponized” the couple’s children against her at the ages of nine or 10. She said her ex sent her more than 3,000 emails suggesting her children would “never love” her and that she would “lose everything” if she left. She said he threatened her by leaving bullets on her desk.

Sarah Demers is a member:
National Social Work Month Observed at UM Shore Regional Health
Kent County News
Being a medical social worker means also means being a voice for patients who lack adequate resources to manage their health conditions after leaving the hospital, the release states. “To me, being a social worker means being an advocate for all patients, especially those who are vulnerable and/or oppressed,” said Demers, who works in the Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation. “It means speaking up for patients who need support during difficult times, helping patient’s meet their needs, and also linking patients with resources so that they may succeed.”


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