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News Items – January 19, 2023

Mit Joyner is current president of NASW:
A USC office removes ‘field’ from its curriculum, citing possible racist connotations
Mildred Joyner, the president of National Association of Social Workers (NASW), said she applauds the USC office for its change — and while she isn’t aware of other universities doing the same, she disagrees with those that say the office is going too far. “I don’t know what going too far means,” she said. “Does that mean going too far to treat people with dignity and respect and remove all language that oppresses people? Then kudos to that department.” The NASW has publicly acknowledged the role the social-worker profession plays in perpetuating racism, citing examples like discrimination in the child welfare system and disparities in health care.

Sheilah Gauch is a member of NASW-MA:
Understanding Chronic Sorrow
Psychology Today
Chronic sorrow originates when caregivers realize their powerlessness to heal their children. With no definitive rubrics for how to care for a child with mental illness, caregivers try multiple treatments in an effort to give their child relief. Even as a social worker, it took becoming a caregiver of these children to understand the pain of this.

Keri Baker is a member of NASW-FL:
It’s Time To Stop Assigning Moral Value To Food Around Our Kids
Scary Mommy
“As soon as children begin to understand language, they pick up on the way that adults around them describe things in their lives, including food,” says Keri Baker LCSW, a Florida-based therapist specializing in disordered eating. “Many of us grew up in households consumed by diet culture, which set the baseline for how we talk about, understand, and interact with food. When we started to venture out into the world (whether at daycare, school, etc.), these diet culture messages continued to be reinforced and taken as hard truths.”

Pachovia Lovett is a member of NASW-NC:
NCDPI Awarded Approximately $17 Million in Grant Funding to Increase Mental Health Support for Public School Students
NC Department of Public Instruction
“Providing school-based mental health candidates with tuition assistance, high-quality professional development, sign-on incentives, and supplement increases will go a long way in helping to meet staffing challenges in school districts,” said Pachovia Lovett, NCDPI’s school social work consultant who sought the two grants. “We are excited to begin this work and eager to see the impact in retaining and re-specializing counselors and social workers into school-based mental health providers.”

Danielle Smith is executive director of NASW-OH:
Keeping Score: FDA and Justice Dept. Improve Abortion Pill Access; Patty Murray Makes Senate History; Remembering Dorothy Pitman Hughes and Barbara Walters
“We are proud to have defeated Lebanon’s attempt to criminalize social workers for simply doing their jobs. Prior to our successful litigation, social workers across Ohio were at risk of being sent to jail not only for helping people access essential healthcare but even just providing therapeutic space for clients to talk about abortion. This is a critical victory in ensuring our clients receive quality care.” —Danielle Smith, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in Ohio, where the city of Lebanon was challenged and defeated for its attempt to criminalize those who aid or abet abortion procedures.

Anne Daggett is a member of NASW-ID:
A person’s wellness objectives tend to shift from mental to physical health as they age
Anne Daggett, the licensed clinical social worker for St. Luke, says it varies by person. Young people might enjoy good physical health and focus primarily on mental health. But older adults might favor physical health because they’ve felt it change as they age.. or because they’ve been advised to take action by their physician. “I can’t run up that flight of steps as I did when I was 17, so that also contributes to where people are navigating right as adults. We might experience some of those changes,” said Daggett.

Marni Millet is a member of NASW-NYS:
I quit drinking last year. Here’s what I say when people offer me drinks at parties.
“The idea that it’s abnormal to not drink alcohol is a problem,” Marni Millet, a licensed clinical social worker, said. She believes that it’s because of this idea many people feel pressured to explain their choice not to drink. However, while it’s understandable to feel some anxiety around the situation when newly sober, you may find that fewer people ask the question than you might expect. “People typically don’t ask this question, as it’s a private and personal one,” she continued.

F. Diane Barth is a member of NASW-NYC:
What Happens To Your Body When You Don’t Get Enough Relaxation
The List
However, viewing rest this way makes slowing down even less likely. F. Diane Barth, a licensed clinical social worker, wrote for Psychology Today about the discomfort many of us experience when we finally take time to rest. We might feel guilty or like we’re failing in some way. She suggests treating relaxation as a skill worth mastering, rather than viewing it as a non-essential indulgence.

Courtney Tracy is a member of NASW-CA:
5 ways to beat the Blue Monday blues
YouTube Official Blog
January’s arrival of holiday shopping bills, missed loved ones, less sunlight and dreary winter weather can culminate in a period when moods dip and mental health takes a hit. To help beat the blues this Blue Monday, Dr. Courtney, the creator behind the YouTube channel The Truth Doctor Show, shares five simple tips to help you make these feelings a thing of the past.

Joel Bobby is a member of NASW-MN:
James V. Brown Library offers an adult coloring club
North Central PA
“Coloring is a healthy way to relieve stress. It calms the brain and helps your body relax. This can improve sleep and fatigue while decreasing body aches, heart rate, respiration, and feelings of depression and anxiety,” according to Joel Bobby, Licensed Clinical Social Worker of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic Health System. “Although coloring isn’t the ultimate cure for stress and anxiety, sitting down for a long coloring session holds great value. As you color, pay attention to your breathing rhythm, ensuring steady, full breaths from your diaphragm, and tune into your heart rate periodically if you can.”

Michelle Felder is a member of NASW-NYC:
The most refreshing and recharging ways to spend a mental health day, according to therapists
This doesn’t have to be strenuous physical exercise — but some movement is key, says Michelle Felder, licensed clinical social worker, therapist, and founder of Parenting Pathfinders. “Move your body in a way that you enjoy — walk, run, dance, swim, stretch, bend – whatever way of moving your body is accessible to you, feels good to you, and is enjoyable to you, do it,” she says. “Movement can help to boost our mood, increase our energy level, and improve confidence.”

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