October 27, 2021
Social Work SmartBrief
Top Story
Behind stigmas that keep people from seeking care
Jennifer Stuber, an associate professor of social work, has dedicated herself to ending stigma after her husband's death by suicide, which she says was caused by stigma and societal pressure. Stigma from societal norms and cultural messages, along with self-stigma, normalizes isolation and loneliness, and it prevents people from talking about mental health and seeking care, which is why it's vital to address the cultural roots of stigma, Stuber and other experts say.
Full Story: The Seattle Times (tiered subscription model) (10/22) 
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Breaking News
Staffing deficiencies are weighing on state mental health facilities, leaving patients waiting in hospital rooms or jails for beds to open up. Nationally, demand for psychiatric services has risen over the course of the pandemic, and Virginia, for example, is limiting admissions, while Oregon has enlisted the National Guard to bolster staffing, and Maine is working to add beds and find placements.
Full Story: Kaiser Health News (10/26) 
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A study in JAMA Network Open found that children and adults with autism spectrum disorder had an increased risk for self-harm and suicidal ideation. "Epidemiologic evidence has also indicated that people with ASD are at a heightened risk of injury mortality, with a risk of premature death that is two- to 10-fold higher than in the general population," said lead researcher Dr. Ashley Blanchard.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (10/22) 
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About half of people with a substance use disorder have an underlying mental health condition, such as anxiety, treatment for which is just as important as treating substance use, says licensed clinical social worker Liz Wetmore. "Addiction and mental health often go hand in hand because using a substance is a way to self-medicate difficult aspects of mental health," Wetmore says.
Full Story: University of Utah Health (10/25) 
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2021 NASW Virtual Forum: Reimagining Social Work in Health
Join us for this two-day event addressing social work's pivotal role in improving health, covering topics such as equity and addressing disparities in care, telehealth, integrated care, behavioral health, and a special add-on evening session, "COVID-19 Vaccination through a Social Work Lens: Myths and Facts. You'll have the ability to earn CE credits and access the session recordings after the live event to refresh your knowledge and claim credit.
Learn more and register!
Government & Policy
A Massachusetts legislative committee is considering a measure to make opioid treatment available for anyone incarcerated in the state. Another bill before state lawmakers would create a peer-mentoring program for health care providers medically treating substance use and would require state agencies to develop educational materials for providers that would discuss three medications approved for substance treatment.
Full Story: WWLP-TV (Springfield, Mass.) (10/26) 
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Children in Texas participating on school sports teams will be required join teams that align with their sex at or around the time of birth under a law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott. The law goes into effect Jan. 18.
Full Story: The Texas Tribune (10/25),  El Paso Matters (Texas) (10/25) 
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Career Insights
Taking time to develop skills and showing patience when networking and executing ideas can pay off in the long-run, writes author and business school professor Dorie Clark. "A key part of playing the long game is building long-term relationships, and the fastest way to blow that up is to ask a new contact for a favor too soon," Clark writes.
Full Story: Next Big Idea Club Magazine (10/26) 
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Develop a deeper trust in yourself by listening to your intuition, honoring your emotions, forgiving your mistakes and being willing to risk failure, writes Mike Robbins. "As we build up our ability to take risks, we also grow our capacity for courage, expanding our ability to trust ourselves," Robbins writes.
Full Story: Mike Robbins (10/25) 
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NASW Updates
NASW seeks nominations for several national elected leadership positions including: President-Elect; Secretary; Member-at-Large; MSW Student Member; Directors for Regions V, VII, XI and XII; and NCNLI Representatives for Regions II, VII, X, and XII. We are looking to recruit a diverse pool of leaders who want to effect change in the Association. All members in good standing are encouraged to apply. To submit a nomination, please visit this link.
Learn more about NASW Board responsibilities by visiting this link. Nominations must be submitted online by November 19, 2021. If you have any questions, please send an email.
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NASW welcomes feedback from members on a proposed amendment to the NASW Bylaws, Article IX--Committees and Task Forces. The amendment seeks to change the name of the National Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues to the National Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning+ Issues. To review the proposed amendment and comment, log in to the Proposed Bylaws Amendment Review & Comment Forum. Comments will be accepted until Monday, January 10, 2022.
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We struggle to climb, or we struggle to fall. The thing is to discover which way we're going.
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