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Editor's e-Note
If you’ve somehow managed to escape the pandemic relatively unscathed, then hats off. For others, 2020 has either introduced or exacerbated mental health issues. It’s put the social work community on high alert for early warning signs.

This month’s E-News Exclusive offers tips and strategies for getting out in front of mental health problems before they manifest into tragedy.

We welcome your comments at Visit our website at, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Lee DeOrio, editorial director
e-News Exclusive
Strengthening Suicide Prevention Strategies
By Martha Rodriguez, LCSW

Now more than ever, we need to focus on efforts geared toward suicide prevention. As we navigate through this difficult, complex, and uncertain time, we must be concerned with how this crisis can lead to a rise in suicides. Anyone facing life stressors can be affected and struggle with suicidal thoughts and attempts; it is a common myth to think that only those suffering with mental illness will attempt suicide or have suicidal thoughts.

While we explore possible interventions and strategies to suicide prevention, I invite you to consider revisiting some of the strategies and interventions already in place to ensure equitable screenings, greater research/resources to support young children struggling with suicide, and increasing awareness as it pertains to language and suicide.

Equitable Screening Practices, Connection to Services
There is no doubt mental health screenings create opportunities for identification of mental health conditions; yet while screenings are essential, more so is connecting individuals with services after the needs are identified. Several organizations, including schools, are working diligently to increase access to screenings.

This is great, of course. But if they fail to provide services after having identified there is a concern or problem, then what is the point?

Full story »
Products & Services
Sacred Heart University Offers PhD in Social Work

Sacred Heart University’s School of Social Work announces it is offering a doctoral social work program.

The part-time PhD program suits social work professionals currently working in community or governmental organizations and higher education institutions. It will prepare candidates for careers in academia, social work research, community-based leadership, grant writing, and program evaluation. Upon completion, students will have new opportunities to advance issues of social and racial justice, develop their pedagogical approach, and fill gaps within social work research in their communities and globally.

“Traditional PhD programs often present barriers for social work professionals,” says Jennifer Wilson, PhD, LCSW, a clinical assistant professor at Sacred Heart University. “The full time, place-based requirement of most PhD programs is out of reach for social workers in the field or working in higher education.” A flexible, part-time program offered online makes a doctoral degree possible, she adds.

Read more »
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In this e-Newsletter
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Social workers are no strangers to social determinants of health (SDOH). Now that health care systems are recognizing SDOH’s critical effect on outcomes, the challenge is to integrate that information, and social workers are well suited for the role. Read more »

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Staff Accused of Violating HIPAA, Accessing George Floyd's Medical Records
George Floyd’s medical records were breached multiple times by Hennepin County Medical Center staff members who viewed the information without authorization, according to MPR News.

Free Lunch May Not Be Enough to Aid Hunger as Pandemic Impacts US Food Security
The pandemic has drastically increased the number of families living with hunger. Free school lunches are critical in alleviating food insecurity, but entire communities are in need, reports ABC News.

It Was Already Hard, Then It Got Worse: Resources for Coping Right Now
Those coping with wildfires on top of the pandemic may benefit from various resources—from tips for managing anxiety and stress to which masks are best for smoke vs. COVID-19—compiled by KQED.
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