Via the Virtual Therapy Collaboration for Wayne County, the School of Social Work’s Detroit Clinical Scholars and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Scholars have been providing low-cost/no-cost mental health support to callers, age 14 and up, who are suffering from COVID-related distress. Clinical Assistant Professor Daicia Price serves as the collaboration’s clinical consultant, leading training and support. This collaborative, called ReachUs Detroit, offers up to twelve sessions of virtual therapy via telehealth and chat functions, at any time, twenty-four-seven.
“Many young people are distressed right now,” Price explains, “and COVID has disrupted so many field placements for our students. So, it was mutually beneficial for our students to get telehealth training opportunities while, at the same time, ReachUs Detroit increases access to mental health services for community members.”
Price herself has had the opportunity to take calls as a clinician on the line, and she reports that it has been fulfilling. It is also innovative. Other, similar helplines refer callers to therapy elsewhere. “But this one,” Price says, “is designed so you get a therapist right on the line, right away. You aren’t referred out somewhere.”
The marketing has also been innovative. “The faces of our program are Black men,” Price says, “including police officers. These are folks who might not normally express the need for this kind of help. Making them the face of the campaign has been pretty neat!”
During times of uncertainty and crisis, people come together to support one another. COVID-19 is a new test of our collective strength. The Community Engagement team and the Office of Field Education have created a webpage that includes a list of volunteer opportunities to support community members and organizations as well as additional resources.
"The partnership, collegiality and collaboration between the Community Engagement Team, the Office of Field Education, and our students is an extraordinary example of teamwork at its best in this time of crisis. Collectively, we have developed and identified numerous opportunities for our students to be able to support our communities and those in need as we all confront the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It makes me proud to be a social worker," said Assistant Dean of Field Education Dan Fischer.
"Coming together like this provides a teachable moment. When there is a difficult or emergency situation, we can work together to share resources and come up with answers. No one person has to figure everything out on their own. The COVID-19 virus has brought lots of uncertainty, but the School of Social Work community can do its part to uncover and respond to needs as they arise," said Professor and Director of Community Engagement Trina Shanks.
Field Faculty Rosalva Osorio has been appointed to the Task Force on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Neuroscience, a collaborative project between the Council on Social Work Education and the Erickson Institute.
Field Educator William Vanderwill was recognized by the Detroit City Council for his outstanding leadership in the field of social work in sports.
The Alliance of Social Workers in Sports established “The Bill Vanderwill Award” for outstanding leadership in sport social work. The new award was announced at the Fourth Annual Social Work in Sports Symposium in Orlando, Flordia. This is an annual award and Bill Vanderwill, SSW Field Educator is the first recipient of this honor.
Associate Dean for Educational Programs and Professor Mary Ruffolo and her team: Assistant Professor David Córdova, Professor Jorge Delva, Assistant Dean of Field Education and Clinical Assistant Professor Dan Fischer, Associate Dean for Research and Professor Joe Himle, LEO Adjunct Lecturer Adrienne Lapidos, Clinical Assistant Professor Deb Mattison, Assistant Professor Jamie Mitchell, Associate Professor Sandra Momper, LEO Lecturer Daicia Price and Associate Professor Trina Shanks were awarded a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to provide inter-professional training opportunities for MSW students with the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA). This project expands field placements that link behavioral health and primary care systems within the DWMHA network. The DWMHA field placements prepare MSW students to work with low resourced racial and ethnic minority children, adolescents, and transitional age youth living with behavioral health conditions and adults with psychiatric disabilities in the Detroit community.
Daniel Fischer was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean for Field Instruction at the School, effective May 2017. Fischer currently serves as Interim Director of Social Work and Spiritual Care at Michigan Medicine and has been a long term instructor and field supervisor for the School as well as an accomplished social work practitioner.
A feature on the Office of Field Instruction, "U-M's School of Social Work: Not Just an Ivory Tower" was published in Concentrate.
Associate Clinical Professor/Director of Field Instruction, Betsy Voshel and Office of Global Activities Program Manager, Katie Lopez presented, "Global Engagement: Developing Best Practices for Social Work Graduate Internships" at the 2013 Global Internship Conference.
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