NASW-MS Supports an Inclusive Flag for Everyone
NASW-MS strongly supports changing the state flag of Mississippi to move forward in the best interest of all Mississippians. The outcry for a change in the state flag has permeated in the state for almost two decades. Thus, the issue of a new state flag can no longer continue to be ignored, dismissed, or deflected.
Read the full statement
The Core Issue Extends Beyond Police Brutality:
NASW-MS Urges a Push for More Sound Policies
and Legislation for Black Communities
Our local Mississippi Chapter joins with the National Association and its leaders and members to condemn the murder and killing of another unarmed African American black man, George Floyd. Unfortunately, recently we have witnessed an unwarranted act of violence by those meant to protect and serve our communities. Social workers, now more than ever, must be put at the forefront of our communities to help rebuild and repair the disruption of families, businesses, and our communities. As a profession, we must reinvigorate our efforts to address change at the local level. We cannot sit quietly nor silence the Black community as a profession when our mission as a social work profession is to enhance the well-being and help with the basic human needs of all people.
We reaffirm our commitment to work to shape legislation and public policy that protects and strengthens the social work profession so that we may not only address policy brutality, but also systemic and structural injustices that disproportionately affect the Black community. This core issue has extended into other parts of our society where black Americans and black Mississippians also face structural barriers when it comes to securing quality housing, healthcare, education, and employment opportunities.
Therefore, we must push for more resources and funding to equip our social workers with tools and information they need to improve the conditions for our black communities in the state of Mississippi. As a Chapter, we will remain vigilant to ensure sound social policies are in place to bring hope and change to all of our communities regardless of race. It is our commitment as a social work professional to advance the role of social work in affecting social change.
With the National Association, we stand boldly on the issues of police brutality, systematic racism, and social injustices of black people. We must also remain cognizant that law enforcement is intertwined within in our communities, and therefore, we must collectively take action to be a voice for the Black community in the state. The time is now to work together to address the requirements of accountability in the civilian complaint process, transparent body camera practices, safe and consistent practices in officer and black civilian interactions, and increased training and regular conflict mediation training by social workers for local police departments. Social workers must also be a resource for officers who have had to cope with the graphic and shocking trauma incidents they have witnessed as a part of their profession. We encourage the social workers of Mississippi to become visible and be present for black residents in the state of Mississippi.
Gwen Bouie-Haynes, PhD, LMSW
National Association of Social Workers Mississippi Chapter
NASW condemns yet another incident of lethal
police force against an African American
May 28, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) strongly condemns the continued death of unarmed people who are African American at the hands of police. We renew our call for the nation to adopt policing reforms to address this crisis. And we offer our condolences to the families of the people who have died.
Minneapolis resident George Floyd died tragically on May 25 while being apprehended by the city’s police officers. Mr. Floyd, 46, was unarmed, and was being arrested for a non-violent misdemeanor crime of allegedly attempting to pass a counterfeit $20 bill and was in handcuffs.
Mr. Floyd died from asphyxiation when an arresting officer pressed his knee on his neck for more than five minutes. His death was disturbingly reminiscent of the 2014 police lethal force death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. Mr. Garner was also asphyxiated while being apprehended by police for allegedly committing a minor crime.
The killing of Mr. Floyd is not an isolated case of the excessive use of lethal force by police. Georgia resident Ahmaud Arbery, 23, was gunned down in February during a so-called citizen’s arrest led by a former police officer.
Mr. Arbery was unarmed and had not committed a crime. This tragedy was further exacerbated by an apparent attempt by the local prosecutor’s office to cover up the incident. It didn’t come to the public’s attention until April 2020.
In yet another incident this month, Breonna Taylor, 26, an African American emergency medical technician, was shot eight times by Louisville, Ky., police. The police were executing a no-warrant search during a botched drug raid, but entered the wrong address. Ms. Taylor was unarmed and killed while she slept after finishing her shift as an EMT worker in a city with a high COVID-19 infection rate.
NASW over the years has been very vocal in calling for reforms of police use of force laws. We have joined with other national organizations to ensure that it be mandatory that police wear body cameras, and that cameras be turned on during encounters with people suspected of crimes. However, it is clear that these efforts have only brought modest success in addressing excessive and lethal use of force by police.
It is equally clear that before America can end racial disparities in use of force, there must be a change in police culture. Police departments must root out the many officers who continue to view Black lives as being less valuable than that of other Americans. NASW will continue to fight for that cultural change.
The COVID19 pandemic is a health and mental health crisis, to be sure. But it is also a crisis of social injustice, inequitably affecting vulnerable & marginalized populations that include, among others, individuals who earn low incomes, or are incarcerated, homeless, in foster care, over 65 (especially those in long-term care facilities), people of color, or the undocumented. Connecting underserved populations to care is a hallmark of #socialwork. This is the kind of social justice that #socialworkers, students, and educators are always working to address, but has new urgency during this global #pandemic. The incredible strain on our health care system & the widespread impact on our civic infrastructure has surfaced existing (and often persistent) gaps in service. Further changes in federal and state policies are needed to protect vulnerable populations during and after the pandemic. Policy makers must ensure that economic recovery is a shared recovery for all Americans. Read how the Association of Social Work Boards, #NASW & the Council on Social Work Education are addressing these and other issues and how you can help https://buff.ly/3bgRpCs
Mississippi Board of Examiners for Social Workers & MFTs COVID-19 Update
Please click here for an update from the Licensing Board.
Social Work Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
The pandemic reminds us how connected we all are. Learn ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), support clients and prepare your practice. Social workers, like many health and behavioral health professionals, are concerned about the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on their well-being, the people to whom they provide services, their families, and others in the community.
NASW has been working on multiple fronts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure access to services, such as advocacy to ensure insurance coverage for teletherapy. Social workers are in a unique position to promote disease prevention efforts (including disseminating accurate information from trusted sources), and to help address anxiety and other concerns that are arising as a result of this public health crisis. As the situation continues to rapidly evolve, NASW will continue to monitor developments and work to protect social workers and the clients we serve.
For information regarding:
Helping People in Special Populations, click here
Preparing Your Practice, click here
Supporting Clients, click here
Self-Care, click here
Telehealth, click here
Ethical Considerations, click here
NASW MS Annual Conference Canceled due to COVID-19
NASW-MS 2020 Annual Conference
Report Child Abuse/Neglect in Mississippi
To report a case, please use the MDCPS Report Child Abuse online system or by downloading the MDCPS Report Child Abuse mobile app through one of the following links:
2020 Health Insurance
Marketplace Open Enrollment
begins November 1st visit www.healthcare.gov
Updated Advocacy Materials for Improving Access
to Mental Health Act (S.782/H.R.1533)
Improving Access to Mental Health Act (S. 782/H.R. 1533)
The updated general issue Brief can be found here and the HBAI Brief and can found here. Click here for FAQs. The Improving Access to Mental Health Act will provide a crucial step forward in mental health care for millions of Medicare beneficiaries and in advancing pay equity for social workers. Since one or more of your lawmakers is on a key committee of jurisdiction, it is imperative that you let them know you urge their support for this legislation.
The vast majority of Medicare beneficiaries in SNFs experience anxiety, depression and other challenges. Millions of these beneficiaries also live with physical or medical conditions which give rise to similar challenges.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is the lead sponsor in the Senate. She is joined by lead cosponsor, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and cosponsor Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
Please join us in supporting this legislation by contacting your Member of Congress TODAY and urging them to cosponsor S. 782/H.R. 1533 the Improving Access to Mental Health Act. Tell your elected officials about your experience as a CSW. A personalized communication goes a long way with a Member of Congress. Help them to understand the importance of client access to mental health care services and of social worker reimbursement and compensation. Together we can help ensure clients have full access to the high-quality mental health services CSWs provide.
Congressional Black Caucus & Mental Health
Professionals Seek to Address Racial Disparities
in Access to Behavioral Health
Takia Richardson LICSW, LCSW
Aug 22, 2019
For several years, suicide has remained among the top 10 causes of death for ages 10 through 44. Data from the National Center for
Health Statistics’ Suicide Mortality in the United States, 1999–2017 brief indicates that suicide rates in the United States increased by
33 percent during that review period (Hedegaard, Curtin, & Warner, 2018).
Read More ...
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
(VAWA) of 2019: Taking it to the U.S. Senate
Toolkit for Engaging with Your Lawmakers In Person During the August Recess NASW and its coalition partners, the National Task Force to End Sexual & Domestic Violence & the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence encourages NASW members to contact their Senators during the August recess. Here is a toolkit to assist you in taking action.