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  • NASW-IL Staff

May 2024 - Southern District Update

Diona Shelton (she/her), DSW, LCSW, CATP, CCTP

Southern District Chair

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

Mental Health Awareness Month has served as the cornerstone for addressing the challenges of mental health conditions since its inception in 1949. Millions of Americans live with mental health conditions, and the numbers are continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. As social workers are one of the largest groups of professionals who treat mental health conditions daily, we know all too well the importance of addressing mental health and the urgent need to break the vicious cycle of stigma and shame for those living with mental health conditions. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we continue to raise public awareness by educating others about mental health, advocate for policies that help to support those living with mental health conditions, and provide support by prioritizing programs and services for individuals, families, and communities that promote mental health and wellness.


NASW-IL Southern District Chair Diona Shelton (she/her), DSW, LCSW, CATP, CCTP

I encourage each of you to take a moment to engage in open dialogue, cultivate an atmosphere of empathy and understanding, and identify and practice ways to prioritize your mental health. Let’s break the stigma together!


Warm regards,

Dr. Diona Shelton, DSW, LCSW, CATP, CCTP

NASW-IL Southern District Chair



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!

·         How can I utilize the alternative to the ASWB exam to get my LCSW?


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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