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News Items – October 28, 2020

news items logo oneCOVID-19 Could Leave Lasting Effect On Mental Health In City Jails
Bedford & Bowery
According to a June report from the National Association of Social Workers, COVID-19 and measures meant to combat it, including social distancing, are likely to exacerbate pre-existing mental health issues, extreme anxiety and emotional trauma for incarcerated individuals. Bajuk said that many of her clients experienced heightened levels of fear because many of the regular mental health workers at Rikers were no longer there to explain what was going on, even as jails became epicenters of the disease.

Laura Young is a member:
How to talk to your families about COVID Thanksgiving
Fox5 New York
“The minority could be the person who doesn’t want to wear a mask,” licensed clinical social worker Laura Young said, “and the minority could be the one who wants to wear a mask.”To avoid creating or worsening any family rifts, Young advised approaching those in a family’s minority when it comes to masks, social distancing and COVID lifestyle changes with respect, asking the questions that need asking to keep Thanksgiving as safe as possible without becoming accusatory or insulting.

Lynnay Corona is a member:
Your Healthy Family: UCHealth integrating mental health care into primary care clinics
Patients can be referred to a specialist for a wide range of reasons – from depression and anxiety to help for managing behavioral issues that impact their medical condition, such as stress management for high blood pressure, said Lynnay Carona, the licensed clinical social worker who works with Bamberger and other providers at the Fontanero clinic. “It’s important to be able to access behavioral health within the primary care setting because it improves outcomes both for mental health as well as medical health for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and other conditions,” she said.

Danielle Smith is executive director of NASW-OH:
’Intricate’ scam targeting Ohio social workers
Fox 19
Social workers in Ohio are now the target of an intricate scam, which has officials warning anyone who works in health services to watch out. The scam starts when a social worker’s phone rings. “The person says that they are with the police,” Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter Danielle Smith said. “Their number looks like and matches the police department.” One woman who nearly fell victim said the caller told her there is a bench warrant for her arrest because she “failed to show up as a witness in a case involving a minor.”

Will Francis is executive director of NASW-TX:
Texas Social Workers Prepare to Fight Removal of LGBTQ, Disabled Protections
Reform Austin
After prompting from Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas State Board of Social Workers voted unanimously last week to remove protections regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and disability status from the official code of conduct. The move sent shockwaves through the industry, which is preparing to fight back. “You’re looking at an attack on LGBTQ rights,” said Will Francis, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers Texas chapter. “They can claim it’s cleaning things up legally, but this is Texas. There are already very few protections, and they seem to be trying to remove the ones we have.”

Texas social workers will no longer be allowed to discriminate against LGBTQ Texans and people with disabilities
Texas Tribune
After backlash from lawmakers and advocates, a state board voted Tuesday to undo a rule change that would have allowed social workers to turn away clients who are LGBTQ or have a disability. The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council voted unanimously to restore protections for LGBTQ and disabled clients to Texas social workers’ code of conduct just two weeks after removing them….”We are so grateful for the vote to keep the anti-discrimination protections in place,” said Will Francis, executive director of the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. “This is a recognition of the key principle that a social worker’s personal beliefs must never impede a person’s right to self-determination or access to services.”

The Forgotten Children of Texas
The Texas Observer
“Any time you put a kid in an RTC [residential treatment center], you are probably expecting some level of abuse. And that’s heartbreaking,” says Will Francis, executive director of the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. “We need to rethink where our dollars go. We need to stop putting them towards these warehouses.”

Sam Hickman is executive director of NASW-WV:
[Audio] WV Support for Mental-Health Alternatives in 9-1-1 Calls
Public News Service
Sam Hickman, executive director at the National Association of Social Workers in West Virginia, said some police responses escalate into violence when calls involve mental illness, emotional distress or addiction, because police are being asked to resolve situations for which they’re often not trained. “The police can’t be expected to intervene in every single problem in society. They should be asked to intervene and to keep us safe when there are people that we’re really afraid of,” Hickman said. “Their skills don’t broadly include everything that we’re asking them to do; they need support from other professionals to do that.”

State and local community groups to respond to SCOTUS nomination; Congress passing COVID Relief Package
“An increasing number of Senator Capito’s constituents are losing loved ones to COVID, their livelihoods to a crumbling economy, and are facing hunger, cutoffs and evictions. Now is the time for the Senator to lead on a robust new stimulus package to address these ills, not embarrass West Virginia by blindly following the conveniently shifting convictions of her party,” offered Sam Hickman, CEO of WV Chapter of NASW.

Erica Woodland is a member:
National Coming Out Day: Coming out during a pandemic
Erica Woodland first came out to himself about his queer identity in middle school. In the last few years, he came out as transgender, and introduced his family to his new pronouns. Whether we come to understand our sexuality personally, with our family or with our broader community, coming out is a process, said Woodland, a licensed clinical social worker and founder of the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network. October 11 is National Coming Out Day in the United States, celebrated each year to mark the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

Donald McDonald is a member and on the National NASW CNLI Committee:
Medicaid expansion will give more people a fighting chance against addiction
Fayetteville Observer
[Donald McDonald] As part of the 2009 Affordable Care Act (ACA), states could expand their Medicaid program to cover more residents with D.C. picking up 90% of the cost. Because this healthcare strategy makes sense — financially and morally — 38 states, including Indiana under then-Gov. Mike Pence, have accepted the expansion and helped millions of Americans get coverage. We haven’t because N.C. General Assembly leadership stubbornly refuses — despite a majority of North Carolinians’ supporting the program.

Chris McLaughlin is a member:
Calls to domestic violence hotlines have ‘skyrocketed’ during coronavirus pandemic
News Center Maine
Alcohol also plays a role in domestic violence situations. Chris McLaughlin, a licensed clinical social worker with Northern Light Acadia Hospital, says in some cases, online alcohol sales have increased by 243 percent over the last five months. “These sort of situations are really just a powder keg of violence,” McLaughlin told NEWS CENTER Maine via Zoom. “We are seeing that the typical reprieve for some of these survivors being able to go to the workplace, being able to go to school, being able to get out of the house and do errands—those things are gone.”

Jana Svoboda is a member:
Living with Apocalypse Fatigue
The Corvallis Advocate
Jana Svoboda, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Therapist based in Corvallis, said the symptom difference among age groups may be due to the fact that young adults typically have less exposure to big changes in their lifetime. “This is an age where we are completing education, exploring the world, preparing for, entering or enlarging careers, finding life partners or raising families,” Svoboda said. “Many normal doors are shut. We are responsible for making it on our own—younger people have families making those decisions, older people often have those decisions in place.”

William White is a member:
Fit to serve: 116th Psychological Health Program helps Guard, families’ mental health, wellness for ops readiness
Operational readiness goes beyond the physical. Service members must be mentally and emotionally fit for the mission as well. The Psychological Health Program is one resource the 116th Air Control Wing has in its arsenal of help for Guard members and their families. Dr. William White, a licensed clinical social worker and the director of Psychological Health in the 116th ACW, who oversees the wing’s Psychological Health Program, said the program advocates and supports Air National Guard Airmen and their families by promoting mental fitness and personal wellness for operational readiness. “The Psychological Health Program promotes focused activities facilitating the prevention of mental health issues, early intervention, crisis response and post-incident recovery,” he said.

Stacey Henson is a member:
Study Shows How South Florida Residents Are Coping With COVID-19 Based on Income Level
South Florida Caribbean News
By Stacey Henson, LCSW, ACSW: With over 40% of Florida’s COVID-19 cases, South Florida has been the epicenter of the state’s coronavirus outbreak. To better understand how the pandemic is impacting the South Florida community, The Recovery Village, a leading treatment center with locations across South Florida, surveyed 500 South Florida residents about their mental health and substance use.

Amy Eisele is a member:
Preparing children for COVID-positive parent
Salisbury Post (NC)
As adults, we have had to navigate ourselves in an ever-changing world of information and messages about the pandemic. We have tried to balance safety with a good measure of normalcy for our children. However, most parents don’t have a concrete, well-thought-out plan for what family life will look like if a parent contracts the disease and is forced to quarantine or, worse yet, go to the hospital. To ease your child’s worries, here are a few tips from my friend Amy Eisele, a therapist and licensed clinical social worker who has worked with children and families for about fifty years.

Laura Stephens is a member:
[Video] Pandemic Parenting
KWQC (Davenport, IA)
Laura Stephens, Parenting Coach (Licensed Independent/Clinical Social Worker) at Courageous Aim (located in the Quad Cities), joins PSL to talk about the day-to-day struggle for parents during this pandemic. The cold hard truth is that it’s always hard to be a parent. But now……you are NOT alone if you think this is especially difficult. Watch the interview to get some perspective and tips on navigating common situations for moms & dads during COVID.

Donita Denton is a member:
Mental health work, the Tetons and glamping: three loves of retired licensed clinical social worker
Johnson City Press (TN)
Saying you fell in love with mental health might cause someone to raise an eyebrow your way, but that’s exactly what’s kept psychotherapist Donita Denton, a licensed clinical social worker, in the field for nearly 40 years. “I initially became interested in social work because I had a niece who was adopted. I always thought I would work with DCS; however I quickly decided that was not my forte,” Denton said recently.

Joe Biden’s Social Worker Daughter Also Has a Fashion Line
The offhand comment led to a rise in Google searches on the Democratic candidate’s daughter, as well as reactions on social media. While her brothers get all the attention—whether it’s the late war veteran, Beau, or Hunter and his past substance abuse problems and what may or may not be on his old laptop—now Joe’s youngest child can enjoy some of the spotlight. America, meet Ashley Biden: social worker, activist, philanthropist and fashion designer.


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