Monthly Archives: August 2017

09Aug/17

An Incredible Free Service for Veterans, Reservists, National Guard members, and their Families

On August 8th, I toured the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic in Philadelphia. It is located on the University of Pennsylvania campus, just west of Center City. There are other clinics in NYC, San Antonio, Dallas, El Paso, and Fayetville, NC. There are several more slated to open within the next year. To find the contact information for each clinic, click here.

Steven A. Cohen was born in New York. He went to Wharton and made his money on Wall Street. The 2017 estimate of his wealth is around $13B. His son served in Afghanistan. Mr. Cohen and his wife established the Cohen Veterans Network in 2016 with an initial donation of $275M. The clinics currently provide services for veterans, reservists, and National Guard members. They also provide counseling for family members. They see people for one hour a week. If people need a higher level of care, the professionals at the clinic work tirelessly to find appropriate services.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Pete Freudenberger, a social worker who earned his MSW from UPenn. He is also a veteran with a very interesting story. He is the Outreach Manager for the Philadelphia clinic and can be reached at pfreu@upenn.edu.

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic was featured in an article on Philly.com on June 15. You can read it here.

This photo was taken from the aforementioned article on Philly.com.

 

06Aug/17

Are You Suffering Work Burn Out?

Social Workers and other helping professionals have high rates of burn out. People in the field will talk about it without describing how to actually look for it. I’ve put together a 20-question self-quiz that professionals can take to evaluate themselves. While it is not scientific, it should give you a good feel for where you are and whether  (and what) you need to change (this can be used to gauge burnout in other professions as well, though questions 2 and 18 should be altered or eliminated).

For a printable version of this, click here.

___________________________________________________________________

Are You At Risk of Burning Out?

A Self-Test for a Social Worker/Drug Counselor/Preventionist/School Counselor/Advocate

  1. Are 10% or more of your hours unpaid? (consider work from home, or emails & phone calls outside of your regular work day)
  2. Do you get weekly supervision of at least one hour per week?
  3. Do you have a self-care plan?
  4. Does it take more than 15 minutes for you to fall asleep at least 2x a week?
  5. Do you wake up in the middle of the night at least 2x a week?
  6. Do you sleep longer or shorter than you planned at least 2x a week?
  7. Do you wake up and feel like you haven’t had a restful sleep at least 2x a week?
  8. Do other people get credit for your work?
  9. Are you happy with your exercise routine?
  10. Does your work schedule or stress cause problems with your family (parents, significant other, kids) at least twice a month?
  11. Do you take an out-of-state vacation at least once a year?
  12. Do you feel like you have neglected friends?
  13. Do you feel like you have neglected hobbies?
  14. Are you in therapy at least 2x a month?
  15. Do you have conflicts (passive or aggressive) with co-workers at least 2x a month?
  16. Do office politics interfere with your job?
  17. Can you talk to someone about work stress other than your significant other?
  18. Have you had a client or student die within the last year?
  19. Do you know exactly what is expected of you at work?
  20. Does your job cause you to compromise any of your values?

 

Scoring guide:

+1 for yes: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20

-1 for yes: 2, 3, 9, 11, 14, 17, 19

-3 – -7: You have a very good work-life balance and are a model for others

-2 3:   A worker with good mental health and decent job satisfaction will fall into this range

4 – 5:   Your job is a minor problem. Make a few tweaks to increase your health and possibly productivity

6 – 8:   Your job is a major problem. You should talk to your supervisor and therapist about making some major changes

9 – 13:  You should consider leaving your job in order to get your sanity back