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News Items – November 19, 2019

news items logo oneChris Budnick is a member:
Grant approved will help Raleigh agency combat opioid epidemic
Wake County commissioners approved a million-dollar grant Monday in an effort to help a Raleigh agency better address the opioid epidemic. Healing Transitions is trying to raise nearly $12 million to expand its men’s and women’s facilities in the capital city, adding beds as both locations are over capacity. “The opioid crisis has hit a different demographic in our community, and so people who previously might not have come here are now coming because they’re in need of services,” said Chris Budnick, executive director of Healing Transitions.

Victor Armstrong is a member:
Victor Armstrong Talks Implicit Bias and Its Impact During Mental Health Crisis
Three years ago, Victor Armstrong, MSW, Vice President of Behavioral Health at Atrium Health, launched Let’s Talk, a platform for in-person discussions on the intersections between organizational culture, implicit bias, and mental health crises. At the time, the Charlotte, NC, community was reeling after police officer Brentley Vinson killed Keith L. Scott on September 20, 2016, and tensions began to rise around the issue of race and the use of deadly force by police officers. The strain was exacerbated by heated political rhetoric stemming from the 2016 presidential race. Silence, says Armstrong, wasn’t going to improve the situation.

Texas Archdiocese Challenges LGBT Anti-Discrimination Rights
The New York Times
A Texas archdiocese wants to become a foster care provider, but only if it can be exempt from adhering to federal safeguards against anti-LGBT discrimination.… Child welfare advocates warn that the lawsuit could reduce the state’s already scarce pool of foster parents. “When you completely shut the door to many good people because they are same-sex or single parents, it isn’t about fixing capacity, it’s about restricting capacity to certain groups,” said Will Francis, the executive director of the National Association of Social Workers Texas Chapter.

Stephanie Cotcher is a member:
Therapists, law enforcement welcome Hart District students back to school
The Signal (Santa Clarita Valley, CA)
While Saugus High School remained closed Monday after a fatal shooting on campus late last week, students at other district schools returned to class, with some expressing comfort from teachers and an increased law enforcement presence. Students across William S. Hart Union High School District schools were welcomed by teachers, therapists and Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies on their first day back after experiencing a lockdown Thursday morning and canceled classes Friday, following the shooting that left three dead and three wounded.…  Once in class, students and teachers held a dialogue to welcome a discussion as teachers were given scripts for them to read to their classes, according to Stephanie Cotcher, the district’s licensed clinical social worker.

Krista Woods is a member:
Transracial Adoption Can Bring Unique Challenges and Joy
The biases parents need to be aware of are everywhere and have been escalating at an alarming rate in the last few years. That’s according to Krista Woods, a licensed clinical social worker who speaks nationally on adoption issues, particularly transracial adoption .  The Illinois-based Woods is African-American and Caucasian. At three months old she was adopted by a Caucasian couple. Frequently, her talks center around physical and emotional safety. “It’s no longer safe to say simply because we had a president of color that we’re in a post-racial society. That is just not the case. There are examples every day that continue to disturb me of children being teased, harassed, bullied, threatened,” said Woods.

Arnold Sell is a member:
More women becoming breadwinners, bringing home the bacon
“The stereotype notion of mom at home in a house dress, that’s over,” said clinical social worker Arnold Sell, who has been counseling couples for nearly 50 years. Sell said more women than men are in graduate programs. They have more education and more money. “Boundaries are eroding. A woman doesn’t grow up expecting to be the breadwinner, and guys don’t grow up thinking they’re going to be house husbands, but things are changing,” Sell said.

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