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In conjunction with National Social Work Month, GMercyU's Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) students participated in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Legislative Education and Advocacy Day on March 22.
GMercyU students, along with Professors Janice Nuss, DSW and Wade Luquet, PhD sat in on a Zoom session with Representative Liz Hanbidge to advocate for Senate Bill 705, which will ensure teleheath services will not be interrupted when the current waivers expire on March 31, 2022.
The group discussed the importance telehealth services play in mental health practices by increasing accessibility of treatment for those with disabilities, people with certain mental health or physical health conditions, people impacted by mental health stigma, or those in rural areas.
Currently, SB 705 has passed the Senate, but has yet to have a committee hearing in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
"Encouraging students to participate in the NASW’s Legislative Education & Advocacy Day is just one of the various initiatives that our BSW program uses to prepare students for an enriching career in a fast-growing field," Janice Nuss, DSW, LCSW, GMercyU’s Assistant Professor and Director of Field Education for the BSW program said. "The roles of social workers are expanding more and more every year, especially with the pandemic, and the social workers of the future need to evolve with them."
Participating in these real-world experiences, such as advocating for new legislation in our state capital, is just another way our future social work Distinctive Mercy Graduates are gearing up to change the world for the better, no matter what path they choose to pursue.