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New START Training Helps Kansas Social Workers Address Technology's Role in Mental Health
"A risk factor present in patients today didn't exist a generation ago," said Megan Endres, a social worker from Overland Park, Kan. "When I conduct behavioral health assessments in the emergency room for youth experiencing suicidal ideation, drug and alcohol misuse and other mental health emergencies, smartphone and social media use is a common thread among these cases."
Mental health professionals today are the first generation to treat digital natives — adolescents and teens who have never known a time without computers, Internet and smartphones. And although isolation, bullying, comparison and self-esteem have existed through the ages, the way technology instigates and exacerbates those struggles is a new frontier for today's youth.
Taking place on Thursday, April 21, the Screen Sanity CEU program will:
"Technology has the power to uplift and improve our humanity, but it is critical that we create new cultural norms of digital health if we want our kids to flourish," said Tracy Foster, START Co-founder and Executive Director. "Through this training, we are excited to share tools and resources that social workers can use with clients to provide hope and a sense of community in this digital age."
The four-credit Screen Sanity CEU program is open to all mental health professionals, and CEU credits through the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board are available for Kansas Licensed Master Social Workers (LMSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LSCSW).
"There is a great need for this training," said Endres. "As a mom and a social worker, when I share information I've learned through START, I've found that the content is information parents are craving and that sometimes they aren't receiving until it's too late. This is an opportunity to change that."
For more information, visit https://www.westartnow.org/