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News Items – September 9, 2020

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Charles Araujo is president-elect of NASW-MS:
Profile: Charles Araujo
Jackson Free Press
Charles Araujo, an adjunct instructor for Jackson State University’s School of Social Work, became president-elect for the Mississippi Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers on July 1. He will serve in his new position through 2021. NASW provides guidance, research and advocacy services for its 120,000 active members. The organization deals in economic and social-justice issues, racial issues and mental-health care in clinics and in schools, and also offers counseling and therapy services. “A lot of people don’t know that social workers are one of the largest groups of mental health workers in the country,” Araujo says.

Bonnie Burg is a member:
It’s all about the context | Reporter’s Notebook
The Journal of the San Juan Islands (WA)
Bonnie Burg, an independent licensed clinical social worker on the island, is seeing how the pandemic and social isolation has affected islanders. “People seem to be experiencing general discomfort,” Burg said, “that often manifests in boredom, sleep disruption, a slight sense of anxiety, some depression and the feeling of not being productive enough.”

David Woody is a member:
The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center
The Dallas Morning News
The Bridge empowers individuals in the Dallas area with homeless recovery tools to help them move into sustainable housing. Mission Statement: To empower adults experiencing homelessness in Dallas with the tools to homeless recovery as they move into sustainable housing. Areas served: Dallas County Homeless Single Adults (age 18+). David Woody, III, Ph.D., LCSW-S, president and CEO.

Denise Rathman is the executive director of NASW-IA:
Relief bill must address vulnerable Iowans
The Gazette
It has been more than two months since the House passed a stimulus bill that would increase desperately needed federal funding for our overwhelmed Medicaid program, extend the $600 supplemental unemployment benefits through January 21, and provide funding to state and local governments that are facing record budget deficits. It would also provide hazard pay to those on the frontlines who are risking their lives to provide healthcare, food, and other essentials to Americans across the nation. This bill – the HEROES Act – would be a critical step in correcting this off-course ship and working towards an actual recovery from the pandemic America has suffered through for months. And it would be an affirmation of Congress’s ability to provide relief in a time of crisis.

Brenda Rosen is executive director of NASW-KY:
New UK social work study zeros in on self-care during COVID-19
Medical Xpress
“Given the importance of self-care to the profession, these findings are extremely concerning,” Brenda Rosen, executive director of the Kentucky chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said. “This research really illustrates the need to support social workers during this unprecedented time.”

Bernadette Seifert is a member:
Families, residents at New Hampshire nursing homes struggle with visitation restrictions
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Bernie Seifert, a licensed clinical social worker, co-facilitates a support group for caregivers through the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Aging Resource Center. She said like Blanchard, many family members are worried about their loved ones losing abilities during lockdown. “When you have very limited contact, have to stay within the room, and aren’t spending time with visitors, that does have an impact on those preserved abilities,” she said. “It’s ironic that we’re trying to protect these people from a major public health issue; but while we’re doing that there’s the unintended consequences of some mental health issues that pop up.”

Karol Ward is a member:
13 Worst Things You Should Never Say to Your Partner
Best Life
“There are times in both new and long-standing relationships when you may find yourself questioning whether you want the relationship to continue,” says Karol Ward, LCSW, a licensed psychotherapist and confidence expert and coach. If it’s the first time you’re having these feelings, don’t feel like you have to share them with your partner. “These initial thoughts are not helpful to share because they will create insecurity and hurt feelings,” she explains.

Sandra Lopez is a member:
How to Help Grieving Loved Ones in a Pandemic
Sandra Lopez, a Texas-based Mexican American clinical social worker with decades of experience as a multicultural grief and trauma expert, says there’s also the loss of cultural rituals in grief. “Religious and cultural practices are oftentimes the very things that help us in resolving our grief or offering closure, so when we’re not able to access them, then we’re kind of stuck,” she says.

We salute the worker
The Chicago Crusader
The iron worker, the truck driver, the teacher, the waitress, the drill press operator, the superintendent, the carpenter, the nurse, the phlebotomist, the social worker or workforce development specialist. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law establishing the first Monday in September of each year as a national holiday—Labor Day. A day to celebrate the American worker. Without the American worker how could this country have ever benefited from the innovations of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Madame Curie, Steve Jobs or Nikola Tesla.

Eric Cochran is a member:
From wake-up calls to wellness checks, how CPS is trying to make sure no child is left disconnected as remote learning resumes Tuesday
Chicago Tribune
“There’s definitely been a lot of sleepless nights thinking about certain kids,” said Amundsen social worker Eric Cochran. He was relieved recently to learn his part-time colleague would be made full-time. That means they can split the caseload of 149 students who have a required number of social work minutes each week, in addition to anyone else who needs help. He works closely with counselors and teachers, responding to crises or checking in on students who experience loss or trauma. Before, he had about 100 students, when the recommendation is about half that, he said. The National Association of Social Workers recommends a ratio of 1 social worker for every 250 general education students, or 1 per 50 when they serve students with “intensive needs.”

Lisa Williams is a member:
During pandemic, Black families put trust in Black doctors
FOX23 (Jackson, MS)
Most of the families that Bacon and the more than 50 other doctors, nurses and social workers serve are African American, low-income and living with health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and asthma that are more common among Black Americans. Even before the coronavirus, many were dealing with depression and anxiety, Bacon said…. Clinician and social worker Lisa Williams said that although the pandemic has made a lot of the problems that patients deal with worse, they aren’t anything new. “People have been struggling for a long, long time,” she said.

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