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Social Work Today
E-Newsletter    March 2023
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Editor's E-Note

March is Social Work Month, which this year celebrates and raises awareness about social workers’ role in breaking barriers—racial, economic, and additional societal barriers. It celebrates all the ways social workers not only hurdle obstacles but also break them down. In this month’s E-News Exclusive, Alison Sutton-Ryan, DBH, LCSW, LISAC, addresses a different sort of barrier—moral distress in health care—and the need for social workers to topple it.

We welcome your comments at SWTeditor@gvpub.com. Visit our website at www.SocialWorkToday.com, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Kate Jackson, editor
In This E-Newsletter

E-News Exclusive
The Time Is Now to Address Moral Distress in Health Care

By Alison Sutton-Ryan, DBH, LCSW, LISAC

The NASW 2022 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. highlighted the important theme “The Time Is Now.” For someone whose work focuses on the mental health of medical providers, it was the perfect fit to highlight the moral distress and related mental health impact of our health care professions. After years of providing countless therapy sessions for medical providers, only standing witness to their pain did not seem enough. Story after story of anguish was shared. Listening to caring individuals being forced to make impossible choices while risking their own health in the pandemic; tremendous disparities in compensation; racial and gender bias going unreported due to fear of retribution.

It was my time to speak up on behalf of those whom I have served. “The Time Is Now: To Address Moral Distress and Mental Health in Medical Providers” focused on my research related to the barriers to mental health care for medical professionals.1 When 300 to 400 physicians die each year by suicide, the time is now to respond.2 The system is broken. Long-term providers are leaving at alarming rates, and new providers are questioning their choice of career, all resulting in decreased patient outcomes. The system of health care is collapsing while some private equity concerns increase their coffers and needed services such as social work, palliative care, and clergy are being eliminated to save money.


Other Social Work News

Apathy Can Predict Alzheimer’s Disease
Texas researchers have pinpointed apathy as one of the neuropsychiatric symptoms seen commonly in patients with cognitive impairment, a discovery that suggests the need for assessment of patients who demonstrate a lack of interest in activities in order to provide earlier intervention.

Veterinary Social Work
According to an article in Psychology Today, veterinary social workers strengthen the human-animal bond, simultaneously improving human and animal health.

Legislator Aims to Provide Free Social Work Education in D.C.
D.C. residents and employees may be able to get a no-cost master’s level education in social worker or counseling. D.C. Councilmember At-Large Robert White says DC News Now is reintroducing the “Pathways to Behavioral Health Degrees Act,” which not only would allow individuals to get a master’s in Social Work or Counseling from the University of the District of Columbia but also would offer a stipend for books and housing.

Social Workers Need More Support From Lawmakers
The CT Mirror reports on the pressures the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on social workers, both in their work and private lives, and the steps legislators must take to support the workforce and attract social work professionals.


Products & Services
Educational Workshops for Social Workers
CarePlus NJ’s 2023 workshop lineup aims to provide professional counselors and social workers informative programming to continue their education and offer evidence-based practices they can put into immediate action. The topics include All the Youth Grieve: Complicated, Prolonged and Healing; Informed Consent: Working With Gender Transitioning Clients; and Addressing Domestic Violence: Interventions for Families. Learn more »

New Book on Diversity in Psychedelic Medicine
Queering Psychedelics: From Oppression to Liberation in Psychedelic Medicine, by Alex Belser, PhD; Clancy Cavnar, PsyD; and Beatriz Cauiby Labate, PhD, aims to foster accessibility and diversity in psychedelic science, practice, and discourse with 38 essays from a range of perspectives including queer academic researchers, LGBTQIA+ clinicians, and indigenous and transgender advocates. Learn more »

Healing Racial Trauma
Norton Mental Health has published Racial Trauma: Clinical Strategies and Techniques for Healing Invisible Wounds, by Kenneth V. Hardy, PhD, president of the Eikenberg Academy for Social Justice and director of the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the anatomy of racial trauma, the debilitating hidden wounds associated with it, and racially sensitive trauma-informed interventions. Learn more »
Featured Jobs
The nation's top employers and recruiters of social workers advertise in Social Work Today magazine and post their job openings on AlliedHealthCareers.com. Check out the most recent opportunities that have been submitted by employers across the country!

Featured Employer
California Correctional Health Care Services

Clinical Social Worker - IP/OP
California Health Care Facility — Stockton, CA

Clinical Social Worker - IP/OP
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Wasco State Prison — Wasco, CA

Clinical Social Worker
Avenal State Prison — Avenal, CA
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