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Members in the News – June 29, 2023

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Kanika Henry is a member of NASW-AZ:
ASU alum helps guide those experiencing traumatic loss
Arizona State University
Arizona State University alum Kanika Henry knows them all. A senior crisis intervention specialist who has worked at the Chandler Fire Department for 16 years, Henry (’05 BSW, ’07 MSW) said a crisis can happen lightning fast, anytime and anywhere. Intervention specialists may respond to the same 911 calls as police and fire crews, Henry said, or they might enter the situation later, by officers’ or firefighters’ request. In addition to providing emotional support in the moment, the specialist assesses which other resources will be needed to care for victims in the immediate and long term, she said.

Mel Wilson is a member of NASW-DC:
Lancaster city police looking to hire social worker
Lancaster Online
Mel Wilson was on staff with the National Association of Social Workers for 20 years until he retired about 18 months ago. He now consults with the association. For most of his time there, he managed its office of social justice and human rights. He credited Lancaster with adding a second position and seeking to fill it. “For police it should be two things. One, certainly to respond to mental health issues in the appropriate way and two, to really avoid and avert any kinds of encounters that can turn violent … and we understand that these encounters don’t necessarily have to happen,” Wilson said. “And so that’s why Lancaster,I think, is buying into it. Also because it’s a good structure model.”

Brent Metcalf is a member of NASW-TN:
Ready to talk to your kids about drugs? Here’s what experts recommend.
Brent Metcalf, a licensed clinical social worker specializing in alcohol and drug addiction counseling, specifies that parents should talk to their children about substance abuse no later than age 9, because that’s the age some kids are introduced to alcohol and drugs. It’s also when the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians start screening children for substance abuse.

Lori Osachy is a member of NASW-FL:
Doctor talks about treatment for anxiety in adults
Have you ever felt like your heart was beating out of its chest? Or suddenly felt hot and light-headed? You may be experiencing anxiety and it’s completely normal, according to License Clinical Social Worker Lori Osachy. “Anxiety is in a lot of ways a healthy emotion. In a lot of ways, it signals when something is wrong,” Osachy said. What’s not normal is when that anxiety becomes persistent and lingers. That’s a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder also known as chronic anxiety. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is encouraging adults 64 years old and younger – including pregnant and postpartum mothers – to get tested for it.

NASW-OH chapter is mentioned:
Medical, social work groups file support in Ohio Supreme Court abortion case
Ohio Capitol Journal
The National Association of Social Workers and its Ohio chapter also stood behind the abortion providers and against the lawsuit. The group and its local chapter specifically pointed to “pervasive, complex and interlaced obstacles that stand in the way of patients” suing to challenge government interference when seeking an abortion. “Simply put, a decision by this court to strip providers of their long-recognized standing to challenge restrictive abortion laws will force many patients to make an impossible choice: bring an individual lawsuit and risk harm to their privacy interests, safety, financial stability and mental and physical health, or forgo the ability to vindicate one’s rights through a trusted medical provider,” the NASW wrote in its brief.

Danielle Smith is executive director of NASW-OH:
Social workers group lodges concerns over Shaker Citizens for Fair Ticketing charter amendment
In a June 9 letter to Mayor David Weiss, the executive director of the National Association of Social Workers’ Ohio Chapter (NASW) addressed some of the proposals in the “Charter Amendment to Create a Safer Shaker Heights and Modernize Public Safety.” Simply put, “social workers are not agents of law enforcement,” Danielle Smith wrote on behalf of NASW Ohio, referring to passages in the proposed charter amendment that would put social workers, along with licensed mental health clinicians and medics, on a 35-member “Non-violent Community Administrators Team (NCAT).”

Susan Reay is a member of NASW-NE:
Five UNO Projects Aim to Boost Behavioral Health Training through $1.7 Million in BHECN Funding
University of Nebraska Omaha
Project REST (Reflect and Explore in Supervision Training): Led by Susan Reay, Ed.D., LICSW. in collaboration with Ellen Rice, MS, Katie Robbins Case, LICSW, and Michelle Nelson, BGS, College of Public Affairs and Community Service. This project, through the Grace Abbott Training and Supervision Academy, will support specialized training for supervisors of mental health practitioners across the state. Experienced supervisors are critical to the guidance and development of future behavioral health professionals, yet few receive adequate training or support.

David Fawcett is a member of NASW-FL:
What Causes a Fear of HIV Testing, and How Can You Overcome It?
The Body
While getting tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) should be a normal part of everyone’s sexual wellness routine, it can lead to a lot of anxiety. Why? Well, there is a ton of stigma that still exists around HIV (and all STIs). Therapist David Fawcett, Ph.D., LCSW, tells TheBody, “There can be a lot of shame about risk behaviors in which someone might have engaged. There is still fear about the implications of a positive test, both for one’s own well-being and that of someone else.”

Kim Keyes is a member of NASW-NJ:
Pride Month: The Importance of Hope
TAP Into South Plainfield
In 2022 a national survey reported 45% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. According to Kim Keyes, a licensed clinical social worker with the Babs Siperstein Proud Center, this high percentage, along with high rates of depression and anxiety within the LGBTQ+ community, has everything to do with feeling hopeless. “It’s often not the individual that has a problem but the implications of how they interact with the environment and people around them that causes those feelings of anxiety, depression and hopelessness,” Keyes said. 

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