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News Items – October 24, 2018

Jennifer Wells is on the Board of NASW-WV:
Jennifer Wells, Stephen Smith: What if? West Virginians don’t have to fight alone
Charleston Gazette-Mail (WV)
The president said again last week that he wants to make protesting illegal. He even proposed a formal rule change to limit free speech in front of the White House. Daily the president is attacking the free press. This administration’s campaign to stop the American people from protesting is disgusting, but it is not new. This is exactly what the political establishment does.

Social work forum to feature candidates strong on human services issues
Eight senatorial candidates have been selected to participate in a forum on Thursday focused on critical human service issues. The National Association of Social Workers, Guam Chapter and the University of Guam Social Work Student Alliance will host the Senatorial Candidate Forum on Social Issues to “amplify the voices of senatorial candidates.”

Karen Koenig is a member:
7 Signs You’re Addicted To Stress & How To Break The Habit
While nobody wakes up in the morning with the goal of stressing themselves out, many of us have a knack for doing it anyway. We overpack our schedules, race from one appointment to the next, and then have zero idea what to do with ourselves once it’s all said and done. If this is you, it may even begin to feel like you’re addicted to stress — which very well may be the case. Since it’s not an actual addiction, though, “it might be more accurate to say ‘habituation,’ meaning [you’ve] formed a habit that [you] do compulsively and are uncomfortable without,” licensed psychotherapist Karen R. Koenig, MEd, LCSW, tells Bustle.

Courtney Riggle-van Schagen is a member:
Commentary: Focusing on the Whole Patient
The Connection (VA)
Director of Behavioral Health Courtney Riggle-van Schagen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been recognized for outstanding service to survivors of domestic violence. “Almost everyone encounters a time in their life when accessing the services of a behavioral health specialist can help them be healthier and more productive,” she said. By having patients complete their health assessment, underlying issues can be identified and discussed with their primary care provider who may introduce them to a behavioral health providers who is part of the same treatment team.

Brian Kohatsu is a member:
‘I’m a survivor’
The Garden Island (HI)
Brian Kohatsu, licensed clinical social worker, said the thing that needs to change in order to end domestic violence is men. “If that doesn’t change, we will have vigils forever,” he said. His passion is to help men find their way, find their truth, so they can stand up and say that they’ve changed. “All of that pride, all of that masculinity that I was told as a man, that has to change,” Kohatsu said.

Andrea Schneider is a member:
Andrea Schneider: Cyberstalkers, Online Trolls, and Internet Bullies, Oh My!
PsychCentral blog
Certainly social justice advocates and mental health professionals (myself included)  who blog, write, and denounce fascist and traumatizing agendas have also been the target of internet trolls and cyberbullies. This is an unprecedented time in the history of the U.S., and frankly, as a licensed clinical social worker, I am thoroughly appalled with what I see occurring overtly on public television (belittling specific populations of people, dismantling international relations, gaslighting the American people through Twitter, the list goes on and on). Bullying behavior by leaders of nations encourages the cockroaches to come out of the woodwork.

Kimberly Lavender is a member:
Living during #metoo and moving forward
The Daily News (MI)
The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has also brought typically uncomfortable conversations to the table. It has also provoked heated discussions in person and online. Kimberly Lavender is a licensed clinical social worker with certification in trauma-based cognitive therapy. She has engaged in an increase of people talking about their stories of sexual assault. While unable to disclose case information, current events have led to therapeutic breakthroughs for some. Lavender said even with her background and experience, she is surprised at the number of people in her social circles who have come forward with a story of sexual assault.

Louisiana governor announces New Orleans-area criminal justice reform grants
New Orleans Advocate
Sarah Omojola, the director of the Welcoming Project, said the $125,000 her group received would allow it to retain a licensed clinical social worker to help youths released from the Youth Study Center and Orleans Justice Center in New Orleans. The money will also support stipends for youths who are receiving mentorship, job training and soft skills development, she said.

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