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News Items – May 30, 2018



Brook Houchen is a member:
‘We grieve together': The Lucas Hernandez case engaged the Wichita community and beyond
The Wichita Eagle
Experts say it’s not surprising Lucas captured the hearts of so many people, including ones who had never known him or his family. “The death of a child, it is a grief like no other, and it strikes at the heart of our community,” said D. Brook Houchen, a licensed specialist clinical social worker in Wichita. “The longer that a child is missing, it creates a crescendo of wanting to find answers — not only for the family, the investigators, the helping professionals, but for the community as a whole.”

Stephen Karp is executive director of NASW-CT:
Stephen Karp: Mental Health Professional Available
Hartford Courant
It is also important to note that, although there is a shortage of mental health providers in Connecticut, there are, according to Department of Public Health statistics from 2014, 6,915 licensed social workers, 2,236 licensed professional counselors, 1,984 licensed psychologists and 1,208 licensed marital and family therapists. I know that for social workers the current figure is considerably higher. Licensed social workers are the state’s largest mental health profession.

Todd Havelka is a member:
Arocha, convicted of voluntary manslaughter, free until September sentencing
KTVH (Helena, MT)
Additionally, on May 16, 2018, Todd Havelka, LCSW, LAC, stated in an opinion that he had been working successfully with Mr. Arocha, and that such treatment would resume if he was released from custody. Mr. Havelka opined that while he had not been able to assess Mr. Arocha’s current mental state, based on his past interactions with Mr. Arocha, he would not consider Mr. Arocha a threat to harm himself or others.

Alison Stone is a member:
Female Friendship Has Never Been More Important. Here’s How To Find Your Girl Gang
If you find yourself thinking, I have no friends! start by checking your limited beliefs about your social life at the door. Alison Stone, LCSW, suggests taking a moment to re-examine the bonds you already have. “Do you have any childhood friends that you can reconnect with? Perhaps you lost touch in college but now live nearby again. Reach out and see how it feels to be a more consistent part of each other’s lives again,” she suggests. “Is it natural, like no time has passed? If so, it might be worth strengthening that connection.”

Christine Reed is a member:
Resources for Santa Fe students, parents as classes resume
For students and parents in Santa Fe, every day since the shooting has been an emotional battle. Even small tasks, like going to the school to get backpacks, have a heightened sense of anxiety. Trauma counselors said there is no wrong way to react after a tragedy, but some say the healthiest way to move forward is to at least try going through the motion of normal activities. “One of the things that might be helpful is you can take your kid to school and walk in with them,” said Christine Reed, a licensed clinical social worker. “You could have a group of friends that get together and they all get ready and go together and walk in together. So, there’s strength in numbers sometimes.”

Shannon Thomas is a member:
How to spot a covert narcissist
Business Insider
“They do what they want to do when they want to do it,” said Shannon Thomas, a licensed clinical social worker who wrote the book “Healing from Hidden Abuse.” “And then they make themselves look like the victim.” Some even deny making promises in the first place, gaslighting their partner into think they are losing their mind. Over time, the victim may completely lose touch with reality, known as perspecticide.

James Clark is a member:
Guest Column: Jim Clark has left a proud legacy at Daniel Kids
The Florida Times-Union
After 27 years with Florida’s oldest child-serving agency, Jim Clark recently retired and handed the reins at Daniel Kids to his second-in-command, Lesley Wells. At Clark’s request, the transition occurred without the much-deserved fanfare and public accolades for all that was accomplished under his leadership, which included more than 20 years as Daniel Kids’ president and chief executive officer.

Mary Rzeszut is a member:
What Makes for a Healthy Community?
Health Day
Mary Rzeszut, a licensed clinical social worker in the department of behavioral health at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., said the study underscores what hospital workers see every day. “People who don’t have access to health care have poorer outcomes and a decrease in well-being. The same is true for people with lower socioeconomic status,” she said. “The researchers really honed in on what we might do to bring forth well-being, and it will likely require thinking outside the box, like when Citibank sponsored the Citi Bike program in New York City to give people access to a bike and the ability to exercise. It helps improve quality of life and opens up other options to us,” Rzeszut explained.

Judi Allen is a member:
Kids’ mental health: Medication and holistic options can help, experts say
Orlando Sentinel
Judi Allen is a licensed clinical social worker with Orlando-based The Counseling Corner. She says that medication for children is the last option she seeks for her clients. “When working with children and adolescents, medication is usually a last resort. Primarily, medication has been tested on and deemed efficient on an adult body, but legally cannot be tested on the little, developing bodies of children,” Allen said. “I believe there are too many other factors within a child/adolescent’s development that also plays a large role in their mental, emotional, social and behavioral development.”

Gerry Weiss is a member:
Community-building effort looks to heal charter divisions in Amherst
Daily Hampshire Gazette
Reconciliation among residents on opposite sides of the town charter debate is the aim of a community-building effort taking place next month. Amherst Connects, whose organizers have a goal to bring together both supporters and opponents of the charter that ended representative Town Meeting in town, will be held at the Woodbury Room at the Jones Library, June 6, at 7:15 p.m. It is the brainchild of two members of the Charter Commission, Nick Grabbe, a former reporter for the Gazette and editor for the Bulletin who supported the charter change, and Gerry Weiss, who works professionally as a clinical social worker and pscyhotherapist and who was against the charter change.

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