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News Items – May 24, 2012

Why Does This Woman Eat Rocks? It’s Complicated
ABC News (blog)
“People will eat anything when it comes to pica,” said Dr. Jordana Mansbacher, a clinical social worker and therapist who specializes in eating disorders, including pica. “They will eat toilet paper. They will eat fabric. They will eat carpet. They will eat paper. They will eat wood. They will eat clothing. They will eat skin. They will eat metal.”

The public interest: Important new book looks at government pay
Las Vegas Review – Journal
Former Clark County Manager Thom Reilly – now director of the School of Social Work at San Diego State University – has a timely book coming out this week, titled “Rethinking Public Sector Compensation: What Ever Happened to the Public Interest?”

Pro-Obama super PAC fund-raising lags behind rival
CNN
Labor groups donated big to the pro-Obama group in April. The largest contribution came from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which gave the organization $1 million. Other groups putting money into Priorities included the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices, a group affiliated with the plumbing industry, and the National Association of Social Workers.

How Stress Affects Major Depression
RealAge
“Depression is like kindling on the forest floor,” says Daniel Buccino, MSW, clinical supervisor and assistant professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. “Stressors can sometimes be the spark that ignites the vulnerability to depression.”

Guam – A measure introduced by Senator Ben Pangelinan would create the Guam
Pacific News Center
In a release, the Senator says that Bill 461 would elevate the practice of social work, recognizing it as a professional skill, as it is in other states and territories. The release quotes Pangelinan as saying: “This Act would finally recognize the profession of social work on Guam by implementing a licensure program for control and regulation of persons that practice social work. Guam is the last in the nation and its territories to create such licensure requirements.”

Anthony Swofford on the Epidemic of Military Suicides
Newsweek
The VA has finally begun to screen for posttraumatic stress disorder and suicidal tendencies, even if a guy walks into the ER with nothing more than a broken thumb. Caregivers from social workers to physicians are supposed to be asking the right questions and listening for the answers that indicate significant psychological problems.

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  1. So here is this epidemic of young veterans committing suicide. And the VA is fully admitting that they have been and remain unable to respond in a timely manner to the basic mental heath and health care intake requests for OIF/OEF veterans. So last month the Secretary for Veterans affairs announces a plan to increase by 1600, the number of mental health professionals ( nurses doctors psychologists and social workers) employed by the VA. But there are already over 200 VACANT social work positions in the VA system and the system is phasing out the “social work assistant” and “social work associate” positions through attrition. (the assistant and associate positions are open to folks with bachelors degrees.)

    So I know of two senior social work students, both recent OIF /OEF veterans, non-commissioned officers with a combined 28 years of military service. One with a service connected disability. Both interested in working within the VA system. Both planning to seek their MSW as soon as they complete their BSW. AND BOTH ARE DENIED AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO AN INTERNSHIP IN THE VA SYSTEM BECAUSE, “We only take masters level students who are seeking clinical careers.”

    Seriously? The VA can’t figure out that there are veterans out there who may not need CLINICAL SERVICES if their basic needs and sevices are being acknowledged? And who is perhaps better equipped than a veteran who is mastering the skills and competencies of a generalist professional social worker?

    “So tell me how does that make you feel?”

    Gary Bachman MSSW, LSCSW

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