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News Items – March 9, 2023

States put social workers to task in comp
Business Insurance
Several states are taking steps to address shortages of qualified mental health professionals in workers compensation by making it simpler for licensed clinical social workers to help injured workers. California enacted a law in 2022 clearing the red tape for licensed clinical social workers to treat in the workers compensation system, and New York, after passing a law in 2020 that cleared some hurdles, is considering legislation that would modify the requirements. 

Darrell Wheeler is a member of NASW-NYS, and former president of NASW:
President Wheeler Awarded For Social Work
The New Paltz Oracle
The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare has inducted SUNY New Paltz President Darrell P. Wheeler as a fellow for their Class of 2023. The Academy is a society that recognizes excellence in the fields of social work and social welfare. Wheeler is one of 14 who has been given membership this year for his efforts to rectify the inequities in healthcare over a career spanning more than 30 years.

Lynn Stanley is executive director of NASW-NH:
Video, podcast and tech help struggling young people find connection
New Hampshire Union Leader
Lynn Stanley, executive director of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, which provides professional support to the state’s social workers, said there’s a plethora of choices for online mental health support, including groups, but not all live up to their advertisements — or provide useful guidance. That includes AI (artificial intelligence), which does not furnish a thinking response, but a statement based on a faster-than-humanly possible cull of information online or scanned into the deep reservoir of a supercomputer.

Frank Thewes is a member of NASW-NJ:
5 Times to Avoid Saying the Word “Should” to Your Partner, According to Therapists
Best Life
If you’re feeling uncared for by your partner, you might be tempted to tell them something along the lines of “you should be more attentive to my needs.” However, while it’s sure to get their attention, this phrase raises an issue without communicating something specific for the recipient to change, explains Frank Thewes, licensed clinical social worker and owner of Path Forward Therapy.

Leanne Rupp is executive director of NASW-CO:
Colorado moves to expand ‘red flag’ law, with some lawmakers pointing to Club Q shooting as the cause
Colorado Public Radio
Leanne Rupp, executive director of the Colorado chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, acknowledged concerns about protecting client confidentiality, but said her organization supports the proposal, arguing it could save the lives of clients and others. “There are times when we as providers may be able to prevent a catastrophic event from occurring,” she said. 

UConn Awarded $6 Million For Social Work, Nursing Initiatives
Mansfield-Storrs Patch
In the School of Social Work, funds will be used to provide $1 million in student stipends, hire faculty, and support two targeted SSW strategies: to increase the number of Spanish-speaking, Master of Social Work-level social workers in the state, and to boost the number of social workers in public schools. To serve the growing Latina/o/x community in the state, the SSW will launch Connecticut ¡Adelante!, a program for Spanish-speaking, bilingual social work students.

Tracy Livecchi is a member of NASW-CT:
What Everyone Needs to Know About Congenital Heart Disease
Psychology Today
There is a good chance that you or someone you know is living with congenital heart disease (CHD). But for some reason, this is a medical community that most people don’t know a lot about. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that a baby is born with a congenital heart condition every 15 minutes in the US. As a woman living with a heart condition from birth, I know only too well what it feels like to be a part of a very large and rapidly growing population that desperately needs to be given a voice. Here are some key takeaways for everyone to know about this hidden yet growing medical community.

Lydia Crafts is a member of NASW-ME:
Rep. Crafts Proposes Bill To Improve Access To Mental Health Treatment
The Lincoln County News
Attracting social workers to the state can help improve Mainers’ access to addiction and mental health treatment, including in schools and in the justice system, Crafts, a licensed social worker, said. Crafts worked with Maine chapter of the National Association of Social Workers to learn what the state could do to address the declining rates of social workers amid the increasing demand for mental health treatment. Crafts and the Maine Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers learned that student debt was a significant burden on social workers. “We found that a social worker with a master’s degree has approximately $71,000 of student debt,” Crafts said.

Brenda Rosen is executive director of NASW-KY:
Ban on Ky. college ‘gun free zones’ added to unrelated bill advances
Several gun safety advocates showed up to the committee hearing to oppose the legislation. Brenda Rosen, executive director of the Kentucky chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said she was “gravely concerned” about the bill. “We need to do more to help our students. Help them to prepare and sustain and maintain themselves on college campuses. And keep guns off campus, where they are not needed,” she said.

Becky Fast is executive director of NASW-KS:
Social Work Advocacy Day provides local prospects insight into making a change
According to Becky Fast, the executive director of the National Association of Social Workers’ Kansas Chapter, there is a significant shortage in the profession, and the hope is that if these bills pass the legislature, along with a couple more provisions to change the industry, then more students will be interested in becoming Kansas social workers.

Marc Herstand is executive director of NASW-WI:
Occupational licensing issues reflect political tension in Wisconsin over state agencies
PBS Wisconsin
Marc Herstand, executive director of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, told the committee in his 30 years following licensing issues, the department has always been chronically understaffed. But frustration among his members seemed to have peaked in the past two years despite efforts by the Evers administration to improve the agency. “(DSPS) has plenty of money to hire the staff like any other business would do in that kind of situation, but they’re not given the authority to do so,” Herstand said. “This makes no rational sense.”

Social Work Month:

Monique Holsey-Hyman is a member of NASW-NC; Valerie Arendt is executive director of NASW-NC:
Durham City Council Social Work Month Proclamation
YouTube (Durham City Council)
The City of Durham City Council member Dr. Monique Holsey-Hyman is a social worker and faculty member at HBCU North Carolina Central University AND member of NASW and asked Valerie Arendt to accept the City of Durham Social Work Month Proclamation and speak for 1 minute at the Durham City Council meeting on Monday, March 6.

Karen Monts is a member of NASW-MI:
March is National Social Work Month
March is National Social Work Month, and Hospice of Michigan along with Arbor Hospice is recognizing a specific type of social worker: those who are specifically skilled to care for patients nearing end-of-life. Hospice social workers are a key part of the process and should be honored for the work they do. Karen Monts, director of grief support services & practice manager of counseling services at Hospice of Michigan, highlights these workers and why the work they do is so important.

Social work breaks barriers: March is Social Work Month
Auburn University
The theme “Social Work Breaks Barriers” resonates because social workers are on the frontlines helping our nation overcome a myriad of challenges, including economic inequality, racism, natural disasters, and mental health crises. The Auburn University Master of Social Work, or MSW, program can help you become part of the solution. More than 700,000 social workers nationwide entered the profession because they have a strong desire to assist those in need and make our communities, our nation, and our world a better place for all. 

Keith Alford is a member of NASW-NYS:
My View: Social workers are also the leaders of important societal change
The Buffalo News
In March, we celebrate Social Work Month, a time designated by the National Association of Social Workers to lift up our profession and acknowledge the profound and positive impact social workers make with individuals, families, organizations and communities. As social workers, we dedicate our time and expertise to improving the lives of others every day. 

Elizabeth Davies-Wellborn is a member of NASW-VA:
Social workers play an integral role on my healthcare team
Pulmonary Fibrosis News
March is Social Work Month. According to the National Association of Social Workers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were more than 715,000 social workers in the U.S. in 2020. The theme for this year’s awareness month is “social work breaks barriers.” Across the many types of social work, the goal remains the same: empowering people to live their best life. This is my opportunity to thank the social workers who supported Susan and me on our journey. Elizabeth Davies-Wellborn has been a part of the Inova team for years and is the social worker I would see during my care team’s rounds in the hospital.

Celebrating Social Work Month
Choctaw Nation
These helping professionals work everywhere — hospitals, mental health care facilities, child welfare agencies, schools, veteran centers, and in local, state and federal government. I am proud to say the Choctaw Nation has many professional social workers available to tribal members for outreach, and I’m proud of the services our social work team does on behalf of the Nation. For 2022, the Choctaw Nation’s Mental and Behavioral Health professionals have taken on 7,142 patients and visited 26,579 more. The Nation’s Healthy Aging professionals consist of three social workers, two of which hold a degree in social work. The Social Services team assessed 860 people, referred 803 to care, visited with 748 and transported 165 to get the care they needed.

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