Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed Michigan Senate Bill 1012 into law. The legislation provides for the creation of a Student Mental Health Apprenticeship Retention and Training grant program (SMART), paying graduate social work students $25 an hour for their field education in public schools settings. The legislation was supported by The School’s Joint Task Force on Stipends and the social work student campaign Payments for Placements in partnership with the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Social Work.
"As this legislation demonstrates, paid fieldwork is a win-win. The SMART internship program will improve public school children's access to mental health resources, on top of making an MSW education more affordable for hundreds of students,” said Payments for Placement co-chair and MSW student Arie Davey. “We're happy to have worked with the SSW and the NASW-MI on this advocacy effort. We look forward to working with them on securing further public investments in students, service providers, and clients."
“This legislation will play a major role in both offsetting costs for social work students and in encouraging our students to pursue a future career as a school social worker,” said Professor Joseph Himle, who served as chair of the joint task force. “Social workers are making large contributions in schools across the nation and their services are particularly important given the challenges that youth have faced in recent years. I applaud the efforts of our students, faculty and staff who contributed a substantial amount of time and energy advocating for this exciting legislative achievement!”
Assistant Dean of Field Education Dan Fischer’s Interprofessional Education (IPE) team has won a 2022 bronze award from 1EdTech for their collaboration with U-M Informational & Technology Services. Their project, Competency-Based Tracking for Interprofessional Education Leveraging Institutional Data, will leverage data to track competencies across U-M’s approximately 35 IPE offerings, which involve 5,000 students from 10 schools across 3 campuses. The team is in the final stages of preparing this project for launch and utilization on the U-M campuses.
Field Faculty and Lecturer Stacy Peterson has received the 2022 Distinguished Lecturer Award. For more than twenty years, her exceptional dedication and commitment to social work values have made a positive impact on both students and the field. Peterson has presented at multiple national Council on Social Work Education conferences on innovative field practices.
"Thank you for this wonderful recognition of my work. It is an honor and privilege to be in the company of great leaders and teachers. I am passionate about my work and use the core values of social work (service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence) as a compass in my teaching and serving. I appreciate this acknowledgment and in these tumultuous times, I remain inspired and hopeful that we can contribute to healing our world."
Clinical Assistant Professor Daicia Price discusses mental health in the community in the latest Mental Minute with Michigan Medicine. The Mental Minute discusses a variety of prescient mental health topics and features expert interviews from within and outside the U-M community.
Field Faculty Rosalva Osorio and Field Instructor Meghan Thiel have been selected as U-M Interprofessional Leadership Fellows. The program provides faculty members with opportunities to learn from and work with health sciences academic and practice leaders, at both the university and national level, and equips them to be interprofessional educator scholars, effective leaders and change agents.
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.
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