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News Items – March 26, 2020

news items logo oneArlen Gaines is a member:
These Maryland Social Workers Wrote a Children’s Book to Answer Coronavirus Questions
Washingtonian
Perhaps your kid is asking, “Can I catch coronavirus?” or maybe just “What is coronavirus?” As parents themselves, Maryland social workers Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky are encountering the same questions. In response, the co-authors wrote I Have a Question About Coronavirusa free children’s e-book to help parents maneuver coronavirus-related queries.

Coronavirus adding to struggle for social workers protecting most vulnerable children
WCVB
The coronavirus is impacting our foster care system — from the social workers to the children in state custody and the foster homes where they live. There are multiple concerns and the state is still trying to figure out how to navigate it all. Social workers at the Department of Children and Families will mostly work remotely because they don’t have any protective gear or supplies to go into homes.

Social Workers Stand Ready In The COVID-19 Fight
The Jamaica Gleaner (WI)
Over the past several weeks, as we have all seen the growing pandemic around the coronavirus, we at the Jamaica Association of Social Workers (JASW) have been thinking about how these developments might affect social workers and those for whom we care. Where there is panic, fear, uncertainty – which we are most familiar with in our daily practice – social workers seek to apply our professional skills such as problem-solving, crisis intervention, and strengths utilisation. In this, we support the nation in keeping peace and supporting solution-focused approaches to address the current situation.

Karen Zilberstein is a member:
[Audio] ‘Escalating Panic': Social Worker On How Coronavirus Pandemic Can Affect Mental Health And How We Can Better Cope
WBUR
The coronavirus pandemic is a global threat to physical health. But it’s also a challenge to mental health… For more on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our mental health, WBUR’s All Things Considered host Lisa Mullins spoke with Karen Zilberstein, a licensed clinical social worker in Northampton. Zilberstein described what she’s seeing among her clients and offered guidance to help people cope.

Social work in this unprecedented time
Yahoo Finance
The three largest social work organizations in the United States are calling social work practitioners, students, faculty, employers, regulators, policy makers, and all interested parties to action. The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) acknowledge that we are all living in a very tumultuous time.  Clear thinking is essential but can be made more difficult because of overwhelming emotions – our own and those around us.  ASWB, CSWE and NASW encourage everyone to take the time necessary for self-care and to prioritize the needs of your own health, the health of your families, and the safety of our communities.

Tricia Bent-Goodley is a member:
Isolation of families for COVID-19 raises concerns about domestic violence
WCSJ
“For some, the self-isolation is like quarantining yourself anyway when you are home with the abuser … you’re living in terror,” said Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley, an expert with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and a social work professor at Howard University.

NJ Social Workers Providing Free Resources and Support to Community
Inside NJ
With the COVID-19 crisis continuing to escalate across the state and nation, thousands of New Jersey’s social workers are continuing to support our communities through this global epidemic. The state’s leading organization for social workers is providing free online resources for its members and the community at large. “Social workers provide over 3/4th of the mental health services in our community,” said Jennifer Thompson, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers – New Jersey Chapter (NASW-NJ). “Social distancing does not mean social isolation, and as a community of social workers, we are committed to providing resources, tools and support to our neighbors, friends, colleagues and communities during this crisis.”

Emily Souder is a member:
Meditate, Exercise, Limit Social Media: 12 Expert-Approved Ways to Manage Coronavirus Anxiety
Popsugar
“It’s important to acknowledge that the anxiety is present,” said clinical psychologist Carla Manly, PhD. Pretending your fear isn’t there is counterproductive; you’ll only make yourself more anxious. Instead, “treat it with compassion,” said psychotherapist Emily Souder, MA, LCSW. “Know that it is not in control of you, and that your anxious thoughts are not representative of truth. See them as separate from you, if possible.”

With COVID-19 spreading, FL social workers face limitations trying to help vulnerable families
Florida Phoenix
Jim Akin, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, Florida chapter, said in a phone call with the Florida Phoenix that remote work will be tough for most social workers. “It’s kind of difficult to work from home,” Akin said. “Most private practices are incorporating telehealth and teletherapy.”

Mental healthcare even more important during coronavirus. Therapists are struggling to adapt their profession.
MetroWest Daily News
Rebekah Gerwirtz, executive director of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said she understands the trepidation of people like Leggett, but she said Baker’s executive order is a mandate, one that other states should model. “The executive order put forward by our governor, as I understand it, is the first one in the country that was done that covers telemental health in such a comprehensive way, and in fact, other chapters have been using it as a tool for advocacy with their governors and their legislatures with some success in other states,” Gerwirtz said.

Katherine Supiano is a member:
As Utah marks 1st death from COVID-19, mental health expert says reaching out more important than ever
Deseret News
As Utah marked its first death from COVID-19 on Sunday, a mental health expert says the news is likely to amplify the reality of the pandemic for many in the Beehive State. “I do think it does have important implications, because now it feels local, and though we have had cases, this is the first fatality. And it also feels like this could happen in anyone’s family,” said Kathie Supiano, associate professor at University of Utah College of Nursing and a licensed clinical social worker.

Cynthia Reynolds is a member:
Therapy sessions going virtual due to coronavirus
WTHR (IN)
No church. No School. No going into the office. It all may be good for our physical health right now, but therapists say the social distancing isn’t great for our mental health. Cynthia Reynolds is a licensed clinical social worker. She said it’s still critical that people in need talk to someone. “I think it’s crucial to staying well during this epidemic,” she said. Many in-person counseling sessions along with substance abuse programs and support groups are put on hold for now.

Alissa Lapidus is a member:
Understanding the seriousness of coronavirus
WAFF (AL)
First, licensed clinical social worker Alissa Lapidus says it’s important to remember that you can’t always change people. “Making sure that we all understand what our limits are on how we can control the actions and the behaviors and the thoughts of those around us is going to settle each individual down,” says Lapidus. When the issue at hand is really important to you, however, Lapidus stresses the importance of open communication and willingness to listen to the other person.

Nancy Serling is a member:
This is what experts say to do immediately after you lose your job
Yahoo Lifestyle
“Tap into your support network of friends and family and let them know about your job loss,” Nancy Serling, a licensed clinical social worker, tells HelloGiggles. “While social distancing may be necessary during this time, connecting to others via FaceTime or through a stroll in the park (at a healthy distance, of course) can help give us the social connection we need to not feel alone during this vulnerable time.”

New substance use disorder training available to social workers
Holland Sentinel
The Michigan chapter of the National Association of Social Workers launched its first Substance Use Disorder Supervision Institute, a revolutionary training for Michigan social workers to better support Michigan’s population facing substance use disorder. The training is made possible by a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

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