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News Items – October 6, 2022

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Jennifer Thompson is executive director of NASW-NJ:
When governors cry wolf: The true cost of using people as political pawns | Opinion
In recent months, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and other southern governors have begun transporting migrants from their states to immigrant-friendly states and cities in the northern U.S., including Philadelphia and New York. DeSantis also dispatched a group of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. In response, community organizers, faith-based leaders and immigrant rights groups in New Jersey convened an emergency meeting to prepare for the eventuality that southern governors could send migrants to New Jersey.

Katherine Glaser is a member of NASW-FL:
What Is Pocketing In A Relationship?
When it comes to pocketing, the signs are pretty obvious, even if you don’t want to acknowledge them right away. “Almost everyone is on some kind of social media these days, where it’s common to post pictures of our lives, friends, family, pets, and even what we ate for lunch,” licensed clinical social worker Katherine Glaser, LCSW, tells Well + Good. “So, if the person you are seeing is active on social media but not showing any signs you exist, you might be getting pocketed.”

Susan Denecke is a member of NASW-IL:
WIU counselor will speak at suicide awareness walk Saturday in Macomb
The McDonough County Voice
Susan Denecke, MSW, LCSW and Out of the Darkness Walk chairperson, said they are meeting at City Hall anytime after 9 a.m. There will be the walk around the square at 10 a.m. and displays inside and outside of the building. The group is doing rock painting this year, putting positive messages on rocks and giving them away, or painting a rock in memory of someone. The event is expected to be finished by 11 a.m.

Michelle Felder is a member of NASW-NYC:
How to Help Your Child Cope With School Anxiety and Have a Successful Year
Ebony Magazine
“The major difference is that an adult generally can verbalize that they’re experiencing anxiety, whereas a child tends to express it through their behavior,” says Michelle Felder, LCSW, founder and CEO of Parenting Pathfinders. “Behavioral changes such as difficulty speaking in certain situations, refusing to go to school, avoiding certain people or places can be clues that a child is experiencing a heightened level of anxiety,” she says.

Lisa Savage is a member of NASW-MD:
Increased demand and burnout are driving many BIPOC therapists to ‘the breaking point’
And that may be why many of them, especially therapists of color, are quitting, says Lisa Savage, a licensed clinical social worker with a practice in Delaware. “It’s led to a burnout of a lot of us because the guilt of wanting to meet the needs, but just not being able to, is a struggle,” says Savage. “Balancing our own personal needs with the needs of our communities has just brought some to the breaking point.”

Jennifer Kelman is a member of NASW-LA:
What I Wish I Said When My Kid Asked “What’s Wrong With Her Face” In Public
Scary Mommy
“Feeling embarrassed is a choice,” Jennifer Kelman, licensed clinical social worker and parenting/psychology expert on JustAnswer told me. “All kids are natural inquirers and we should feel thrilled that their inquiring minds want to know. They are not burdened yet with societal norms and boundaries so when the thought and question comes to mind, often it is blurted out without regard to time and place.” Instead of shushing our kids, she says we should express pride and welcome questions from them.

Biden admin announces more than $300M in mental health funding in part from bipartisan gun bill
ABC News
“We’ve never seen an effort of this magnitude in relation to the challenge that we have around mental health,” Rodríguez told ABC News, adding, “We also have never seen this level of investment from the federal level, more specifically in mental health professionals, so we are making a big bet on supporting, attracting, developing and retaining our school psychologists, social workers [and] counselors to really work in support of our students.”

Mental Health Crisis Teams Aren’t Just for Cities Anymore
Kaiser Health News
For years, many cities have sent social workers, medics, trained outreach workers, or mental health professionals to calls that previously were handled by police officers. And the approach gained traction amid concerns about police brutality cases. Proponents say such programs save money and lives. But crisis response teams have been slower to catch on in rural areas even though mental illness is just as prevalent there. That’s partly because those areas are bigger and have fewer mental health professionals than cities do, said Hannah Wesolowski, chief advocacy officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Schools Struggle to Hire Mental Health Workers. New Federal Grants Might Help
Education Week
Even when they have the funds, school districts often struggle to hire social workers, psychologists, and school counselors, a need that has grown more urgent after disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic sparked new concerns about student mental health. Advocates hope two newly expanded federal grant programs will help build the pipeline of candidates for those roles as schools address growing needs in student mental health and special education.

Denise Johnson is a senior practice associate with NASW National:
Depression Screening Day Raises Awareness on Mental Health
Public News Service
Denise Johnson, senior practice associate for the National Association of Social Workers, said depression is more than just a bad day. “Depression is very common and can result from a number of social, psychological and biological factors,” Johnson pointed out. “It’s more than just a ‘bad day’ or feeling down, and it’s not something that people can just snap out of. It negatively affects how a person feels, the way that they think, the way that they act.”

DC bill could provide free Master of Social Work degrees for residents
A DC Council Member is hoping to increase the number of mental health workers in the District. CM Robert White has introduced a bill, The Pathways to Behavioral Health Degrees Act of 2022. The proposed bill would provide a Master of Social Work degree, free of charge through the University of the District of Columbia. “When the pandemic started, I heard from so many people who felt like they needed mental health professionals and they couldn’t find it and what we realized is that we have a pipeline problem,” said White.

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