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News Items – December 6, 2017

Emily Lupsor, the writer, is a member:
Behind Cardinal pay scandal, faces of need
The Charlotte Observer
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has seized temporary control of Cardinal Innovations, the managed care organization that administers mental health Medicaid funds for 20 counties, including Mecklenburg. Those of us who work in human services wonder how this will affect the provision of services. And whether anyone actually cares. It’s easy to put the individuals served by Cardinal out of our minds. It’s uncomfortable to sit and be present with their hardships.

Jonathan Singer is a member:
How A Community Can Proactively Prevent Teen Suicide, Part 1
Chicago Now
The presentation began with noted Loyola University Associate Professor Jonathan Singer, Ph.D., LCSW. He gave a very informative speech and PowerPoint presentation, which was followed by an interactive discussion between adults at the tables in attendance.… Singer takes a very difficult topic and provides the background that allowed the audience to grapple with exactly what we’re facing. He utilized some information that is in a book he co-authored titled “Suicide In Schools: A Practitioner’s Guide to Multi-Level Prevention, Assessment, Intervention and Postvention.”

Stephanie Osler is a member:
How to talk to your kids about suicide
The Virginian-Pilot
When a teen commits suicide, it ripples through the community. Parents, friends and teachers may ask themselves: What could have been done to prevent this? Stephanie Osler, a licensed clinical social worker, says if a parent suspects a child is suicidal, they should take them to see their family doctor or a pediatrician, who can screen them and refer them to a specialist.

Rachel Sussman is a member:
It’s Okay To Pause Your Dating Life During The Holidays
But all that obsessive dating could lead to some pretty serious burnout. “The feelings of loneliness and sadness that get brought up for a lot of people around this time of year can make you search for things that make you feel good in the moment,” says Rachel Sussman, LCSW, a New York-based relationship therapist. “But that’s never the right path forward.” In fact, leaping from one good moment to another (or attempting to) can leave you feeling even worse. “It’s like a sugar rush,” Sussman says. “You feel good in the moment, but then you just crash.”

Will Francis is the government relations director of NASW-TX:
How Texas curtailed traditional welfare without ending poverty
The Texas Tribune
The current state budget also uses TANF funding to prop up the budgets for early childhood intervention services and mental health state hospitals. Another $3 million a year will go toward the Alternatives to Abortion program. The Texas Education Agency will also receive almost $4 million a year in TANF dollars for “school improvement and support programs.” “We spend our TANF dollars on anything but poor families,” said Will Francis, government relations director for the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Those spending decisions will likely perpetuate a negative trend in the share of total TANF dollars Texas spends on basic assistance to poor families, which dropped from 59 percent in 1997 to about 7 percent in 2014, according to spending data collected by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Shari Botwin is a member:
Victims of Harassment, Assault Triggered by Recent Events
U.S. News & World Report
It’s common for people to feel powerful emotions because of the avalanche of news, said Shari Botwin, a licensed clinical social worker in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “People are very triggered, whether in a good way or in a negative way,” she said. “People are having more flashbacks, getting more depressed, they end up reliving it. For some, it’s a good thing, it motivates them to get help. For others, they’re staying quiet.” It’s not just depression, either. Botwin said that some victims — especially those who have been harassed at work — feel it’s unfair that privileged women are able to speak out against their harassers and have the media’s ear, while women in regular jobs are forced to endure more of the same.

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