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  • NASW-IL Staff

May 2024 - Calumet District Update

Samantha Allen, MSW, LCSW, Calumet District Chair

Welcome to the beautiful month of May! It is National Mental Health Awareness Month which is a month that calls awareness to mental illness and the impacts on individuals, families, and communities. As social workers, we play a vital role in educating, advocating, and treating issues of mental health. As of recently, we have assisted many through a global crisis, a pandemic, and issues of racial injustices and trauma. Let’s continue to assist in reducing the stigma and myths associated with mental illness through education, awareness, and the normalization of therapy/counseling.


In lieu of National Mental Health Awareness Month, we are also encouraged to take some time to engage in self-care. As social workers, self-care is vital for helping us prevent and overcome stress, burnout, and fatigue. Self-care also helps us to become refreshed, rejuvenated, and restored. Research informs us that consistent self-care has the ability to increase our concentration, decrease depression and anxiety, decrease stress, and improves our mood. The quality of care that we provide our loved ones, relationships, and clients is based upon how well we take care of ourselves. Don’t be afraid to place yourself first. Encourage those close to you to do the same.


NASW-IL Calumet District Chair Samantha Allen
NASW-IL Calumet District Chair Samantha Allen

Upcoming CEU Event:

Culture Matters: I Am Because We Are Part II

Date: Friday, May 31, 2024, from 1:00pm to 4:30pm

Venue: Orland Park Library - 14921 S. Ravinia Ave, Orland Park, IL 60462

Presenter: Cheryl D. Stampley, PhD, LCSW

Cost: 3 Cultural Competency CEUs / $45 Nonmember / FREE NASW Member

Description: The challenge for 21st century work sites and society-at-large is how to accept (not just tolerate), honor, appreciate and celebrate cultural diversity. We have no blueprints or effective models to guide us how to better relate and get to know each other. In order to increase our racial literacy and resolve racial conflicts, cross-racial interactions and dialogues are necessary but extremely difficult to transpire. Dialogues on race seldom bridge POC and white ethnic worldviews because their worldviews are often antagonistic to one another.


The purpose of this seminar is to assist counseling professionals (and anyone who interacts with people) on one’s lifelong journey toward cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and the realization that culture matters. This seminar will provide user friendly techniques to discuss cultural issues and concerns in the workplace and/or community settings.



2024 NASW-Illinois Chapter Election

Thank you to those who voted in this year’s 2024 NASW-Illinois Chapter elections. Stay tuned to our News page when final results are announced.


“Ask NASW-IL” Series

We’ve posted several “Ask NASW-IL” questions in the past month relating to questions we’ve been receiving at the chapter. Click through the links below to learn more!


For a complete list of archived “Ask NASW-IL” articles, go to:


2024 NASW-IL Advocacy Day Recap

Thank you to the over 350 social work students and social work professionals who showed up and showed OUT at our 2024 NASW-Illinois Chapter Advocacy Day! We launched a revamped format for this year's Advocacy Day that brought the day's over 350 participants directly into the Illinois Capitol Building for direct lobbying with our state legislators. Together they helped make a difference bringing important issues in motion this session to the forefront. Read more here:


HB4475 passes out of IL House, providing necessary insurance reforms

Thanks this week to Illinois State Representative (and NASW member!) Lindsey LaPointe who was able to push House Bill 4475 out of the Illinois House this week. An initiative of Thresholds and supported by the NASW-Illinois Chapter, this bill would accomplish several things, most importantly setting a rate floor that commercial insurers must pay for mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) services to bring them in line with rates paid for other healthcare services to incentivize providers to join insurance networks. Read more about this important legislation and what you can do next to support it here:


Other Chapter News:

•         SB3779 passes out of IL Senate, giving social workers essential authorization to aid victims of opioid crisis:

•         Social Work Rule Changes for Social Work Professionals Coming Soon:

•         NASW-IL Policy Position Statement on Compensated Practicum Education:

•         Optum United Behavioral Health Responds to NASW Letter:

•         Partial Loan Repayment Assistance Available to IL Social Work Graduates Working in IL Schools and Municipalities:

•         Illinois Breaks Barriers in Mental Health Workforce, Achieving Remarkable Growth in Licensed Social Workers (LSWs):

•         IDFPR Licensure Renewal Requirements for 2023–2025:

•         Partial Loan Repayment Assistance Available to Those Working in Community Mental Health Centers:

•         Social Work Profession One Step Closer to Interstate Licensure Compact:

•         February 14, 2023 Update on the Social Work Interstate Compact:


For more news, go to the NASW-Illinois Chapter News page:

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