Thursday, May 16, 2013


The events of the past month have thrown a lot of us for a loop. I was feeling such great worry and sadness throughout the Boston Marathon Bombing experiences, especially hearing the extraordinary accounts from the Directors of Social Work at the Greater Boston teaching hospitals and the first- hand reports of NASW members who ran the race or who were part of the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health team.

Here at the Chapter office, which is located less than a mile from the Marathon finish line, we had two all-staff debriefings, our Private Practice Shared Interest Group devoted an entire meeting to debrief, and the chapter is planning a state-wide conference for July 12, 2013 on Social Work’s role: Before, During and After a Disaster. The conference will focus on taking care of our clients, ourselves and the larger community.

This morning I attended a moving event organized by the Samaritans, where surviving family members of suicide victims talked about moving beyond the tragedy, the personal disaster to a place of hope and for many, happiness. The common healing theme was connecting with others, telling the story and being heard. Connection is not only a human biological need, it is a basic tenet of social work practice. We call it the therapeutic relationship and we recognize the essential human requirement for individuals to connect with their larger community and neighborhood.

Taking this concept of ‘connection’ to another less dramatic arena and equally powerful one, is the professional role of Mentor. Recognizing the value for new professionals to connect with experienced social workers for their wisdom, their inherent ‘helping’ talents and their practical savvy, the Chapter offers a highly worthwhile Mentor program where the experienced amongst us reach out and connect with the rookies. We are the veterans with so much to share.

This is an invitation to you seasoned social workers to sign up to be a Mentor. The commitment is easy. The rewards are high. The contribution is precious. Just click on this link to get the details, And as a starter, I am signing up myself.