January 22, 2020
Social Work SmartBrief
Top Story
People who have suicidal thoughts need someone to show they care, and research conducted several decades ago shows that simple interventions such as letters can help prevent death by suicide, says researcher Ursula Whiteside. "Showing you care about someone -- not saying it, showing it -- is tangible," says Kevin Hines, an advocate who notes that he needed someone to reach out to him during his toughest moments.
Full Story: CBS News (1/21) 
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Breaking News
Review: "Marriage Story" is a missed opportunity
(Araya Diaz/Getty Images)
"Marriage Story" is an engaging film but misses opportunities for closer examination of unfinished emotional business and the role each partner has in a marriage, writes licensed clinical social worker SaraKay Smullens. "It would be unwise, even dangerous, for mere mortals (like our clients and ourselves) to believe what [director Noah] Baumbach provides on screen is a deep, authentic 'marriage story,' " Smullens writes.
Full Story: The New Social Worker online (1/15) 
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A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found adults with food insecurity had 10% to 37% increased odds of dying prematurely from any cause except cancer, compared with their peers who had adequate access to food. The findings, based on data from over 510,000 adults in Canada from 2005 to 2017, showed rates of premature death due to suicide, unintentional injury and infectious-parasitic disease were more than doubled among adults experiencing severe food insecurity.
Full Story: HealthDay News (1/20) 
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Women seeking treatment for substance abuse have different needs than men, and it can be hard for them to be honest and open in mixed-gender support groups, says social worker Marissa Kirch. Being able to connect with other women and be vulnerable was vital to recovery, say women who have participated in single-gender therapy groups.
Full Story: Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (1/22) 
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Celebrate Social Work Month!
Gain momentum now for the 2020 Social Work Month celebrations and public education. This year's "Social Workers: Generations Strong" campaign honors the heroic contributions of social workers across generations. BROWSE Social Work Month merchandise now.
Government & Policy
HHS has proposed ending a policy requiring religious providers of social services to refer patients elsewhere for any services they don't offer on the basis of religion. The proposal would also lift the requirement that faith-based organizations provide notification of the mandate.
Full Story: HealthLeaders Media (1/17) 
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The Supreme Court rejected a motion to expedite a case challenging the Affordable Care Act's constitutionality and seeking repeal of the entire law, likely delaying a final decision until next year. The US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit remanded the case back to a lower court to reconsider whether the entire law hinges on the mandate that all Americans carry health insurance or pay a penalty, which was struck down after Congress negated the penalty.
Full Story: CNN (1/21),  Vox (1/21),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (1/21) 
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Technology and opioid addiction
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Career Insights
Being more productive requires simple yet effective steps such as blocking out time for tasks, removing distractions and not trying to multitask, writes Naphtali Hoff. "Postponing important tasks often leads to procrastination or feelings of anxiety or stress, which will only slow you down," Hoff writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (1/21) 
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Try to imagine being a customer, competitor or any other type of persona, and you've taken an important step toward gaining perspective, writes Kevin Eikenberry. Write down your thoughts and share the process with members of your team so they can widen their viewpoints, make better decisions and achieve their goals, Eikenberry writes.
Full Story: Leadership & Learning with Kevin Eikenberry (1/20) 
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NASW Updates
An NASW webinar addressing Suicide Among Senior Citizens: A Durkheimian Perspective is scheduled for Thursday, January 30 from 1:00 - 2:30 pm (ET). Participants can earn 1 CEU. Join us to address the application of Durkheim's theory of suicide to the contemporary elderly population. Learn how this theory can be used to identify high suicide potential, develop and apply a intervention strategy, and address the social problems that are propelling the elderly person toward suicide. The program is FREE for SPS Members. NASW Members: $30 | Nonmembers: $40 Learn more and register.
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The National Association of Social Workers has joined a bipartisan group that is working to ensure that mental health and addiction are addressed by candidates during the 2020 election season. Learn more.
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At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.
Frida Kahlo,
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