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News Items – February 9, 2023

Lynn Stanley is executive director of NASW-NH:
Opinion: Why does New Hampshire still allow children to get married?
Concord Monitor
Raising the age of marriage to 18 has been introduced to our state legislature again and again. But for some reason, we cannot pass a simple law to protect children. The age was raised from 13 to 16 but it is inexplicably stuck at 16. This isn’t about maturity, it’s about legal rights and responsibilities that individuals obtain when they turn 18, regardless of their maturity level. If it was about maturity, we wouldn’t allow marriage until the brain is fully developed at 27.

Marc Herstand is executive director of NASW-WI:
Following National Trend, Wisconsin Lawmakers Introduce Book Ban
The Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Social Workers has also registered on the bill. Marc Herstand with the Wisconsin chapter says that, the way the bill is written, it could be used to prevent students from learning about important historical events. “So nobody wants kids to see porn, okay,” Herstand says. “Let’s say that right at the beginning. However, the way the bill is written, we have some concerns that it would limit the ability of students of public schools to get information about the Holocaust, slavery, the Middle Passage, things that have been done to Native Americans, and other holocausts that have happened around the world.” 

Jennifer Kelman is a member of NASW-FL:
5 Things Your Partner Says That Mean It’s Time for Counseling
The early stages of a relationship tend to feel fun and effortless, but the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever. “After some time in a relationship, things can feel stale and mundane,” says Jennifer Kelman, LCSW, a mental health expert and licensed psychotherapist on JustAnswer. “People get busy and it can be hard to keep the connection and romance alive, causing one to feel that things feel more like friendship rather than a romantic and intimate relationship.”

Richard Brouillette is a member of NASW-CA:
Change the Channel in Your Brain with this Journal Prompt
Psychology Today
There is one simple and powerful journaling technique that you can do for ten minutes a day that will not only improve your daily life but offer you a strong foundation of self-care on which you can build larger life changes: the self-talk journal. This self-talk approach has a simple structure designed to connect your mindsets and make you aware of the different parts that make up who you are.

Andrea Vidrine is a member of NASW-LA:
The Enneagram helps many understand habits, relationships, thought processes and more.
The Advocate (Baton Rouge)
Though the Enneagram was not created by one person or group, Georgian philosopher George Gurdjieff is credited with the symbol’s reintroduction to the modern world around 1916, says Andrea Vidrine, a licensed clinical social worker and interfaith/interspiritual minister who serves as a companion to people in enneagram mentorship and spiritual direction. Vidrine said that Gurdjieff did not assign characteristics or types to the numbers. Instead, that is credited to Bolivian philosopher Oscar Ichazo and was furthered by Claudio Naranjo, who brought the information to the States.

Meg McKeon and Willa J. Casstevens are  members of NASW-IA:
Opinion: Republican legislation targets vulnerable LGBTQ+ Iowans
Des Moines Register
Conversely, for government to either silence speech or compel it is not only unconstitutional, but also undermines the very fabric of American society. Unfortunately, as history has long shown us, governments seem unable to resist trying. Why? Because if successful, the silencers remain in power. It should come as no surprise that Republican Iowa legislators, emboldened by midterm wins and GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds’ rising national star, feel they have a blank check to focus their agenda on pandering to the extreme element of the conservative base by targeting LGBTQ+ Iowans.

Nakeia Alsup is a member of NASW-NC:
Democrats counter Republican-backed bill requiring schools to out transgender students to parents
The Pulse
Nakeia Alsup, a former school social worker, said schools must remain safe havens for students. “For some, school is one of the few places where students
feel safe, where they feel like they have an extended network of adults that have their best interest at heart, where they can truly be themselves and ask needed questions and get needed help,” Alsup said.

Lawmakers Consider Adding Social Workers as Comp Providers
Maryland lawmakers on Monday presented carryover legislation that would allow licensed certified social workers to diagnose injured workers with mental impairments. HB 694, which was scheduled for a hearing March 1, would authorize a licensed certified social worker to “register as a rehabilitation practitioner and would authorize such a social worker to provide evaluation services for workers’ compensation claims related to permanent impairments involving a behavioral or mental disorder.”

[Video] Social worker provides insight on effect of school threats following hoax calls made statewide
Fox47 (Lansing, MI)/YouTube
Ashlee Barnes-Lee is an assistant professor of social work at Michigan State University who spends on a lot of time on this issue. We talked with her after multiple schools across the state, including Okemos High School and Jackson High School, experienced fake shooting threats that forced the schools into lockdown.

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