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Social Worker Month

“The nation’s 650,000 social workers are champions for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They stand up by comforting people who are experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, ensuring they get best possible care while on the road to recovery. They stand up and support military personnel, veterans and their families, immigrants, people living with disabilities and people who are LGBTQ. Child, family and school social workers stand up by protecting children who have been abused and neglected, helping children find new families through adoption, and ensuring young people reach their full academic and personal potential.”  (socialworkers.org)

Meet Some of Our Social Workers!

Pam D., LICSW

What do you do at Harrington?
I am a fee forservice Social Worker, working with the school based team.

How long have you worked here?
I have worked for Harrington for 16 months.

How did you know social work was the right career path for you?
I had a friend at Simmons School of Social Work who encouraged me to apply. I was doing home-based childcare after school in Somers and she thought I would be really good working with kids. So I did it and it fit!

Name one stigma, myth, or fear people have about seeing a social worker that you can debunk?
“I’m not crazy. Only crazy people go see therapists and counselors.”
Now let me tell you how I’d debunk it… We’re all crazy, but the sanest people are the ones who have a support system outside of their families.

What is most important to you in patient care?
Making that initial connection so that they will go deeper and do the work they need to do, to heal and to go on.

JAMES R., LICSW

What do you do at Harrington?
I am the Coordinator of the Partial Hospitalization Program at 29 Pine Street; a group-oriented two-week daytime program with psychiatry, which helps persons stabilize from a mental health crisis.

Where did you get your MSW?
Yeshiva University in New York City.  I remember how much I enjoyed the diversity there.   I interned in a few neat places and especially enjoyed running family and youth groups.

How did you know social work was the right career path for you?
I was interested in the human mind and spirit.  I found psychology to be too dry for my taste.  I found a job after college in group homes for persons with developmental disabilities and really enjoyed it.

Name one stigma, myth or fear people have about seeing a social worker that you could debunk:
That social workers only do case management.  We are trained to consider the life cycle, persons in their environment, and to apply clinical diagnoses and treatment.  Our profession insists on a rigorous and supervised internship.  We have a strong code of ethics.

I’d like to quote the National Association of Social Workers, who offer the following:  “Social workers are trained to look at situations in a holistic way. They help people increase their ability to solve problems, to cope with stressors and to get needed resources. Social workers bring individuals together with other people and their communities to find solutions for problems that continue to plague our society, including hunger, lack of affordable housing, and equal rights for all. And social workers make organizations responsible to people through sound social policy.”

What is most important to you in patient care?
There are many aspects, but I’ve been thinking about how important it is for patients to have input into the system, to design their own treatment, whether it is the system between therapist and patient, hospital and patient, family, or community and patient.


ROBIN E., LCSW

What do you do at Harrington?
I am an outpatient behavioral health therapist who works with adults in the mental health division.

Where did you get your MSW?
I got my MSW from UConn School of Social Work.

How did you know social work was the right career path for you?
I hadn’t actually considered social work as a career until I had started a master’s degree in forensic science and good friend of mine had suggested that social work was a better fit for me. We were having lunch and discussing what I wanted to do and my love for helping others. She mentioned her mother was a school guidance counselor and she thought it was something I would enjoy, so I looked into the counseling field and fell in love with social work. I realized how much social work aligned with my values and beliefs, and recognized that I could make a difference in people’s lives every day.

Name one stigma, myth or fear people have about seeing a social worker that you could debunk:
One of the biggest fears attached to seeing a social worker is that of being labeled. A lot of times I find my clients are afraid of having a diagnosis because they fear being seen as “crazy.” People tend to come into session saying “I am bipolar” or “I am depressed” and they identify as their diagnosis. I work with my clients to understand their diagnosis does not define who they are.

No one says “I am cancer,” they say, “I have cancer,” so I want my clients to understand they are struggling with something (i.e.- depression or bipolar disorder), but they are not their diagnosis.  It’s about creating an identity based on all of the other qualities my clients possess, such as kindness and humor, and not their diagnosis.

What is most important to you in patient care?
Human connection and compassion are most important to me in patient care. I strive to have open, honest, non-judgmental communication with my clients, where they truly feel heard and understood. It’s important to me that my clients feel connected. Sometimes, coming to therapy is the only conversation or connection clients have and it is important to me that they feel welcome and like someone cares about their wellbeing.

 

 

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Socialize

The Harrington Hospital Auxiliary held its 4th annual scholarship ceremony, awarding more than $21,000 to 11 students from nine area schools pursuing careers in the healthcare field.

Congratulations to all the students who received scholarships and thank you to Sally Baum and Pat Motyka who co-chair the Scholarship Committee.

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