Sunday, February 26, 2012

Best in Mental Health (wk of 2/20/2012)

I'm watching twitter, google+ and the web so you don't have to...

This post is part of a weekly series, Best in Mental Health, featuring the best posts of the week, in social work, psychology, evidence-based practice/healthcare, non-profit and private practice concerns on Social Work Career Development.

To get a quick idea of the topics covered in this week's round-up, please see the above word cloud :)

Evidence Based Practice/Healthcare:

ABCs of Web Literacy: Interactive Tutorial
University of Pennsylvania
"If you are going to use the web for research, don't be duped by what you find out there. Learn five criteria for evaluation of information on the web..."
How to speak to your psychiatrist: are we ready for shared decision making in mental health?
The Mental Elf (Andre Tomlin)
"The evidence-base around shared decision making in mental health remains fairly sparse... Training in shared decision making was highly accepted by patients and changed attitudes toward participation in decision making..."
Satisfied? If not, do something
Occupy Healthcare (Dr. Miller)
"You have a role to play in healthcare too whether or not you admit it. Once we as a society stop seeing the healthcare system for only being about sickness, there will be a significant shift in our satisfaction of that system..."
So Much For “Everyone Can Get Care In An Emergency Room”
The Health Care Blog (Aaron Carroll)
"At least half of all hospitals nationwide now charge upfront ER fees... Hospital officials say the upfront payments are a response to mounting bad debt caused by the surge in uninsured and underinsured patients..."

Social Work:

Disproportional Suspension Among African American Youth: The Experience of Kinship Caregivers
Living Proof Podcast (UB School of Social Work)
"Dr. [Priscilla] Gibson speaks [in this 90th podcast] about her research exploring the experiences of kinship caregivers parenting African American children, who are disproportionately suspended under school zero tolerance policies..."
Don't Say "I Know" to a Client
A Case Manager's Verse (Anatolia)
"I have said "I understand" in the past but I've been told by a coworker that this may be tricky too because I don't really understand a situation... Our goal is to support the client to address her problem (and encourage her to do this on her own)..."
Human Trafficking - some interesting data
Child Protection Lessons (Peter Choate)
"... it now represents the second or third most profitable crime worldwide. It is the fastest growing crime and represents about $10 billion... This is a global problem in which technology has assisted in the ease of communication and movement..."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Continuing Education: Optional or Obligatory?


Do you find the whole continuing education maze a bit confusing? Are you wondering whether you need to need to fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain your LMSW or LCSW license?

Figuring out your continuing education (CE) requirements can be a bit puzzling, particularly because the answer varies according to your jurisdiction.

Association of Social Work Boards' Rules

According to the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), nearly every jurisdiction that issues social work licenses requires continuing education courses for renewal. However, the requirements vary from one state to another from the number of continuing education (CE) hours required to the type of courses that must be taken.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Best in Mental Health (wk of 2/13/2012)

I'm watching twitter, google+ and the web so you don't have to...

This post is part of a weekly series, Best in Mental Health, featuring the best posts of the week, in social work, psychology, evidence-based practice/healthcare, non-profit and private practice concerns on Social Work Career Development.

To get a quick idea of the topics covered in this week's round-up, please see the above word cloud :)

Evidence Based Practice/Healthcare:

Different types of psychotherapy for different types of depression: a summary of best current knowledge
The Mental Elf (Andre Tomlin)
"Cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, problem-solving therapy, non-directive supportive therapy and behavioral activation therapy are all effective treatments for adult depression. Differences between types of psychotherapy are small..."
Healthcare (re)design
Occupy Healthcare (Dr. Miller)
"Healthcare is currently built around the wrong things. We know that the system is not built for the patients, but rather the companies who often pay for healthcare services. We know that it is more profitable for providers and hospitals when people are sick versus when they are well..."

Social Work:

A Social Worker’s Guide to Social Media
NASW-NYC (Shyvonne M. Noboa, MSW)
"Now that you are online and connected with others through social media, take the time to share the good work you are doing... If you are an expert social worker in a specific area of practice, you could & should use social media to share your knowledge..."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Children’s Growth Through Art


Did you know there is a huge connection between the development of a child's artistic abilities and his/her cognitive development?

In fact, a child's art work is indicative of his/her developing abilities in motor skills, perception, language, symbol formation, sensory awareness and spatial orientation (Malchiodi, 1998).

As you may remember from Art Therapy and Social Work, I'm currently taking a class in art therapy for social workers. Today is a second post in the art therapy series in which I will be sharing with you some key learnings from class. 


This week, as our drawing exercise, we were told to draw something that we remember drawing from childhood. I drew the above house. 

The end result of our class exercise was an array of pictures that illustrated some of the stages of artistic development. Barring severe handicaps, all children go through specific stages in their drawing development (Viktor Lowenfeld, 1947).  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Best in Mental Health (wk of 2/6/2012)


I'm watching twitter, google+ and the web so you don't have to...

This post is part of a weekly series, Best in Mental Health, featuring the best posts of the week, in social work, psychology, evidence-based practice/healthcare, non-profit and private practice concerns on Social Work Career Development.

Aside from @SWSCMedia's regularly scheduled weekly twitter chats at 3PM EST on Tuesdays (and other chats listed on Mental Health Twitter Chats), two new chats are starting up: a mental health chat #MHchat by @MHchat on Wednesdays at 3PM EST and a social work for social media chat #SW4SM as of February 28th as described below.

Evidence Based Practice/Healthcare:

New evidence suggests that antidepressants do not influence suicidal thinking in young people
The Mental Elf (Andre Tomlin)
"The authors set out to determine the short-term safety of antidepressants by standard assessments of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adults, and geriatric populations and the mediating effect of changes in depressive symptoms..."
The Role of Income in Healthcare Coverage
Occupy Healthcare
"having coverage can make a difference in not only health outcomes, but also proper utilization. As the Commonwealth Fund report highlights, those improperly utilizing emergency department services (very expensive services) often cited non-emergency reasons for their visit..."

Social Work:

A bad experience with supervision
The Zen Social Worker (MSW Student, Tim)
"I had the unfortunate experience of being bullied by a supervisor... I had tried to deal with it on my own but the power dynamic was too delicate... The worst part about this... I was asked to leave without the ability to terminate appropriately with my patients... "

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Understanding: A Privilege or a Right?


Is the ability to understand to public documents a privilege or a right?

As Sandra Fisher-Martins eloquently argues in the below TED talk, being able to understand public financial, legal and medical documents is not only everyone's right but a daily necessity.

The problem is that the vast majority of public documents are written in language that is too complex to understand. Just pick up a standard leasing agreement, mortgage loan document or medical waiver to get a sampling of the complex language that is typically used and you will see what she means...

The standard language that is used is complex language understood only by those employed within that specific field of knowledge but foreign to nearly everyone else.

Further compounding things is that there is a huge gap between the average literacy rate and the language level of public documents.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Best in Mental Health (wk of 1/30/2012)


I'm watching twitter, google+ and the web so you don't have to...

This post is part of a weekly series, Best in Mental Health, featuring the best posts of the week, in social work, psychology, evidence-based practice/healthcare, non-profit and private practice concerns on Social Work Career Development.

Evidence Based Practice/Healthcare:

There is something wrong
Occupy Healthcare (Dr Becker Schutte)
"Mental health is health. Not an extra. Not an add-on. Not a luxury. As long as we have a system that ignores this, patients like this one will miss out on the services and support that they need and deserve. Something is wrong..."
Toolkit for Modifying Evidence-Based Practices to Increase Cultural Competence
NKI (Judith Samuels, PhD, Wendy Schudrich, MSW and Deborah Altschul, PhD)
"The Toolkit for Modifying Evidence-Based Practices to Increase Cultural Competence provides a step-by-step methodology for mental health practitioners and agency administrators to identify and evaluate evidence-based practices (EBPs) for possible modification for cultural groups."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Art Therapy and Social Work

Have you wondered how to incorporate art therapy in a session with a client?

I took a [post] graduate class on the use of art therapy within a social work framework. Art therapy is something that I wanted to learn for a variety of reasons.

Art is something that I hadve always enjoyed. It is also a medium of expression that can make it easier for some people to express themselves, as well as find a healthy release for some of their emotions (and/or traumas).

In addition, I believe that the more tools you have in your mental health professional toolkit, the better. This way, you are better equipped to meet your client where he/she is.