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News Items – October 11, 2017


NASW Puerto Rico Chapter Sends Message Detailing Dire Situation on Island
Social Work Helper
This message from the National Social Work Association (NASW) Puerto Rico Chapter was sent to Mark Nichols, NASW manager of chapter services, in a series of cellphone text messages during the afternoon of Oct. 3. It has been slightly edited. We wish to share it with members and the wider social work community. NASW will convey this message to members of Congress who are social workers and soon give information on how we can assist social workers in Puerto Rico:
Thank you for your support. Our main concern is there are no communications. There are no cellular phones that work well. All the island is without power —  there is no water and little produce. President Trump came today and just said we are costing too much money for the United States government. The suicide rate is too high triggered by the suffering from lack of basic needs. During this period about 12 persons committed suicide (and there are likely more that are not confirmed).…
For information contact Greg Wright, NASW Public Relations Manager, at 202.336.8324 or by email at


Earl Kelly, a member, is one of the authors:
Iowa needs to integrate mental health, substance abuse services
The Des Moines Register
There is rising concern in the state about the growing number of persons with mental health and substance abuse issues. And while we remain concerned, our response appears fragmented and not focused. Mental health remains a major public issue and requires the same focus as epidemic diseases. The scope of the problem is significant, with current data showing one in four people having a mental health issue. We also know mental health and substance abuse are closely related. At the same time mental health needs are rising, we are facing major addiction challenges across the state.

Anderson Al Wazni, the writer, is a member:
Pushed to extremes: the human cost of climate change
Across the Western world, many democracies recently faced turbulent election cycles, which saw increasing prominence of far right nationalist groups that were previously relegated to the fringe of social and political thought. Though each respective group supported a fervent nationalist agenda that promoted isolationist policies such as the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union or the Trump Administration’s promise to ban certain refugees and build a wall on the southern border, they also embraced a similar ideology. That ideology used the foreign nationalist, migrant worker, and above all the refugee, as the scapegoat for economic depression, weakened infrastructure, unstable job markets, and threats on national security. A new form of false patriotism has emerged in which anything and anyone perceived as a foreign entity is to be rejected or expelled. As a result, racism, ethnocentrism, and unabated xenophobia has taken center stage in national dialogues about what and who constitute American identity.

RIC School of Social Work Awarded Grant to Meet Mental Health Needs of Underserved Populations
Rhode Island College
The Rhode Island College School of Social Work, with Professor Jayashree Nimmagadda, Ph.D., M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., as principal investigator, has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to launch the Rhode Island Integrated Care Education (RIICE) Project. The $999,892 award will be used to increase the number of Masters-level social workers trained in team-based integrated care, who graduate and pursue clinical work to meet the mental health needs of Rhode Island’s vulnerable and underserved populations.

Bethany Hadvab is a member:
How Are Sudbury’s Social Workers Needed?
Sudbury Patch (MA)
The Sudbury League of Women Voters is partnering with the Board of Health to hold a community event to address the needs within the community as it pertains to social work on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 10 a.m. at Grange Hall. Board of Health social worker Bethany Hadvab, LICSW and Master’s level social work intern, Evangeliah Tsui, address the role of the town social workers and identify needs and strengths.

Innovative employers enhance caregiver benefits
Employee Benefit News
“We found that around 70% of our employees were either caregivers or would be in the near future,” recalls Michelle Stone, Fannie Mae’s work-life benefits program manager. “And we knew people were struggling and missing work trying to get through the red tape and figure out where to start with eldercare issues.” The program employs a geriatric care manager who is also a licensed clinical social worker to provide confidential consulting services, including referrals and crisis support counseling. Fannie Mae’s current consultant, Montrella Cowan, is a contractor with Iona Senior Services, a non-profit service agency, and is accessible to employees via phone, email or in person.


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