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News Items – April 12, 2017



Betsy Abrams is a member:
How a drinking habit becomes a drinking problem
Battling addiction of any kind might be best referred to as a lifelong journey. “Journey” is a word addicts will tell you describes the treatment plan they must follow every day of their lives. And every journey has a beginning. “No single event in the life of an individual will lead to alcoholism,” said Betsy B. Abrams, a licensed clinical social worker in Clarksville, Tenn., who specializes in treating addictive behaviors. “It is often a combination of reasons, events, genetics and other causes that lead to drinking in excess.”

NASW-WV board member Jennifer Wells is cited:
Protect West Virginia members oppose House, Senate budget cuts
West Virginia Press
Jennifer Wells, with West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, said the cuts to DHHR is devastating. She works with at-risk youth who rely on Medicaid, from which she said the House budget cuts about $10 million. She said she also works with seniors who rely on medical care to get basic services. “When you see some of them face a decision whether to pay for medicine or get food, you understand how real the problem is,” she said. “Even at this moment, Medicaid is not truly supporting them. Some of the seniors I’ve worked with have banded together and made a pact that if one of them passes, they will allow the others who use the same medicine to share prescriptions because they can’t afford it at that time. A $10 million cut? What’s that saying? That’s a death sentence.”

Megan Holmes is a member:
NC senate bill looks to address foster child care problems
Megan Holmes, a 22-year-old North Carolina Central graduate, recently earned a bachelor’s degree in social work. Holmes is working toward becoming a social worker so she can help children and teenagers who share similar experiences as she did growing up. Holmes went into foster care when she was 15 years old and aged out when she turned 21. “I didn’t get my license until I was 20 years old. It’s still kind of late in comparison to average teenagers,” she told ABC11. “It just would have been really helpful if I was employed, getting to and from work, trying to grow and become the young lady that I am.”

Chastity Wells-Armstrong is a member, and former board member for NASW-IL:
Chasity wins in mayoral upset: ‘This is a movement’
Kankakee Daily Journal
Hugs, shouts and tears ushered in a new political era in Kankakee as the city elected its first black mayor on Tuesday. Chasity Wells-Armstrong, a first-term 5th Ward alderwoman, shocked the city’s foundation by defeating two-term Republican Mayor Nina Epstein by 215 votes in a three-way race. The 47-year-old Wells-Armstrong collected 47 percent of the vote and defeated Epstein by a 1,918-1,703 margin. Kankakee firefighter and former 2nd Ward alderman Jim Stokes, running as an Independent candidate, took in 455 votes. “This is a movement,” Wells-Armstrong told her supporters. “We are tired of the status quo. This is our win. This does not stop tonight.”

Dina Kastner is cited:
Public servants confused about the future of loan forgiveness they’ve been counting on
The National Association of Social Workers is in the midst of planning how they’ll respond to the latest developments in the lawsuit, said Dina Kastner, the senior field organizer at the organization. In the meantime, she worries the outrage over the Department’s response to the suit could scare borrowers who will likely qualify away from enrolling in the program. “It definitely is a concern that people will think they’re not going to qualify even though they might,” she said. “We can’t guarantee anything, but we don’t want to dissuade people from applying and putting in the information to make sure that they’re eligible.”

Mary Garrison is a member:
Davis Cup Champion Cliff Richey Releases New Book On Depression “Your Playbook For Beating Depression”
World Tennis
New Chapter Press announced the release of the book “Your Playbook For Beating Depression: Essential Strategies for Managing and Living with Depression” written by former American tennis great Cliff Richey and licensed clinical social worker Mary Garrison. The book is designed as a tool to immediately educate and guide people who have or suspect they may be suffering from depression and have thoughts of hopelessness and suicide. Richey, also a mental health advocate who has lived his entire life with depression, and Garrison help readers understand, manage, and live with depression, offering a tool on the path to recovery. Combining Garrison’s clinical expertise and Richey’s personal experience, “Your Playbook for Beating Depression” will make readers better understand their condition as they learn about depression as a medical issue and provide insights into proven and effective treatments.

Rachel Kazez is a member:
What Your Teenage Daughter Wants You to Know — but Won’t Tell You
If there’s any stage of life that’s perfect for experimenting with style and self-expression, it’s the teenage years. It’s important for parents to support their teen daughters, even if they don’t share their personal style. “Girls might wish parents understood that their personal style and way of being is not confined to gender norms,” said Rachel Kazez, licensed clinical social worker and founder of All Along, “Trans and non-binary teens often feel misunderstood by parents,” she added.

Trond Harman is a member:
Take Care: Trauma can have lasting psychological effects
Public Opinion
The psychological effects of a traumatic incident can last long beyond the event itself. Trond Harman, Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Keystone Pediatrics, shares information about how both adults and children can heal from trauma.

In Trump Era, L.A. Social Workers Seek Tighter Collaboration with Immigration Officers
The Chronicle of Social Change
As President Donald Trump moves to expand deportations of undocumented immigrants, a team of rapid-response social workers in Los Angeles is hoping it can come to the aid of children who may be left behind or endangered by immigration enforcement actions. The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services’ Multi-Agency Response Team, known as MART, has been sending specially trained social workers to the scenes of law enforcement busts for years. It now hopes to work alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency tasked with enforcing immigration law, so that social workers will be present in the event that children are involved when agents make arrests.


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