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News Items – May 28, 2019

Connecticut bill requires social workers to be credentialed
Some Connecticut legislators want to make sure people who call themselves social workers are truly credentialed social workers. The House of Representatives on Monday voted 111-25 in favor of legislation that prevents someone from using the title “licensed clinical social worker” or “social worker,” or any initials associated with the title without first having earned a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in social work.

Mental health providers, small MD offices look for delay on electronic records
North Carolina Health News
“This is our number one issue we hear about from members,” said Kay Castillo, the lobbyist for the North Carolina chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. That’s why Castillo and representatives from other provider groups were at the General Assembly this past week visiting members of the Senate and asking for support for a bill that made it through the House of Representatives in March. Finally, this week, the Senate Health Care Committee took up the bill.

Nation’s largest social work organization condemns Alabama abortion law
The Hill
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), which bills itself as the world’s largest association for professional social workers, spoke out Thursday in opposition to a new Alabama law that outlaws abortion in nearly all cases. The NASW issued a statement calling the law “an affront to a woman’s constitutional right over her own reproductive health” and lambasted the state Senate for voting down amendments to the legislation that would have expanded Medicaid or guaranteed pre- or post-natal care.

Claudia Oberweger is a member:
Therapists Explain Why Returning to a Physical Place Filled with Memories Can Be a Trigger
Claudia Oberweger, MSW, LCSW-R, explained to Personal Space that first of all, every person responds to painful events and memories differently. “The ‘formula’ for getting over it doesn’t exist,” she said. “Every individual has their own process and timeframe for dealing with painful memories. However, if someone has difficulty getting past the pain, if their painful memories prevent them from functioning normally and enjoying life, I recommend talking to a qualified professional to help them with their process.”

Christine Saladino and Anissa Rogers are members:
Opinion: Lowering educational requirements for child-welfare workers isn’t the answer
Oregon Live
We, the directors of social work educational programs in Oregon, speak in unison with the National Association of Social Workers Oregon Chapter in expressing concerns about House Bill 2033, which seeks to lower educational requirements for state child-welfare caseworkers. We understand the pressure the Oregon Department of Human Services is under to fill vacant positions and agree that the crisis in Oregon’s child welfare system requires outside-the-box thinking. We also recognize there may be potential candidates who would be qualified and dedicated based on their lived experience (such as adults who grew up in the foster care system) and who may not have the means to attend four-year college.

Arlene Englander is a member:
9 Proven Hacks To Help You Stand Out When You’re Meeting Someone New
“Anything that helps the other person feel better about themselves will cause them to enjoy your company and find you hard to forget,” licensed psychotherapist Arlene B. Englander, LCSW, MBA, tells Bustle. You might try asking more questions, truly listening to what the have to say, making more eye contact, and even saying their name. It can all add up and help you to stand out, experts say, by making you feel more connected. Read on below for a few more tips to try the next time you’re meeting someone new.

Rachel Sussman is a member:
8 Things You Should Always Be Doing Before Intimacy
Get Mentally Turned-On: In the hours or minutes leading up to intimacy, bring your turn-ons to mind. “Start thinking sexy thoughts and think about what’s going to turn you on,” said Rachel Sussman, a licensed clinical social worker in New York City, in Women’s Health. It can help get your head in the game, so to speak.

Carol Morken is a member:
What Lies Beneath: Hypnotherapy Is Helping Me Get to the Bottom of My Depression
The Root
I started hypnotherapy late last summer as an add-on to the weekly talk therapy I’d started in the spring. Something was falling flat for me in typical therapy; perhaps the persistent need of my then-therapist to pin each and every aspect of my dysfunction on my parents, often drawing correlations that felt inauthentic to me. Or maybe it was just a general sense of being heard, but not listened to—or talking, but not feeling closer to the truth. Having heard encouraging things about hypnotherapy, I added on weekly sessions with Carol Morken, a Chicago-based licensed clinical social worker and certified clinical hypnotist.

Lynn Zakeri is a member:
How to talk to your kids about their mental health
“Each day I use my tone/inflection to portray that I have no assumptions,” says Lynn R. Zakeri, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois and mother of two teens. “‘How was the test?’ can sound 10 different ways depending on how it is asked. Starting our talk with something interesting about my day that is short and entertaining (whether vulnerable, self-deprecating or full of pride) — can make them feel safer to be honest about their day,” adds Zakeri. “We are trading stories rather than in a power struggle.”

Nicole Kellerman is a member:
Robotic pets give Asheville veterans a source of companionship at the VA
The VA began deploying the robotic cats and dogs in December. Each unit has several sensors and responds to human interaction. “It’s like the perfect pet, you don’t actually have to empty a litter box, you don’t actually have to clean up your yard.” says clinical social worker Nicole Kellerman. “They flip over, they roll over, they purr.” Kellerman believes artificial critters can have a real impact. “They’re looking for a companion to make them happier throughout the day,” she said.

Ruthie Kalai is a member:
How To Know When It’s Time To Take Medication For Anxiety
Finally, while medication can make anxiety easier to cope with over time, it’s not a be-all and end-all solution. “Medication won’t make an anxiety disorder disappear like an anti-inflammatory may make a headache dissipate,” said Ruthie Kalai, a licensed clinical social worker based in New York and Florida. Instead, medication can help ease symptoms — including feelings of irritability, agitation and hopelessness — so that recovery and healing can take place. “This then allows the client space to make the necessary psychological changes through therapy,” Kalai said.

Karen Perez is a member:
Behind the Ron DeSantis flap in Tampa is a real issue: how to spend mental health money for schools
Tampa Bay Times
Every one of the 240 public schools in Hillsborough County should be staffed with mental health professionals, School Board member Karen Perez said Friday, a day after she tried to make that point during a high-profile verbal joust with Gov. Ron DeSantis. The governor interrupted Perez when she brought up the subject during a news conference Thursday at Roland Park K-8 School that featured his wife, Casey, making a presentation about mental health. He challenged Perez, saying she was making a speech instead of asking a question. Perez, a clinical social worker, has made mental health her overriding issue since joining the board in November.

Martha Vallejo is a member:
Long-Distance Counseling For Migrant Teens Little Help: Critics
“Migrant children already find it extremely hard to communicate their feelings and trust professionals,” said Martha Vallejo, a clinical social worker in Miami who has counseled minors after their release from migrant detention centers. “How can they feel at ease talking to someone behind a screen?”

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