A Grief Response Guide: Addressing Violence Exposure Among Urban Youth

At the nexus of therapeutic practice and urban youth’s mental health, including depression, anxiety, and grief there are gaps in knowledge. The knowledge available on the mental health of urban youth and their exposure to violence could be used to build interventions and services that support the integration of academic success outcomes through trauma informed care. Young people exposed to violence are affected by fatalism and disenfranchisement, especially those from inner city and high crime neighborhoods.

To better understand how loss impacts urban youth, a theoretical framework that combines two concepts—the socio-ecological theory and the meaning reconstruction theory—is presented. Our objective is to contrast these theories’ justifications for modern treatment methods and their application to young people, then offer a post-positive framework for successful interventions based on these beliefs. The knowledge related to urban youth and exposure to violence can be addressed through culturally aware practice and assessment of need.

The capstone will identify and propose the HEARTS resource created to address the disproportionate services for urban youth and share the research that supports this innovative approach to urban youth and grief.

A New Social Work Leadership Standard: Empathetic Leadership

The social work profession has no developed leadership approach. This presentation will discuss the history of leadership in social work and the professional implications that have resulted from not having a developed leadership approach such as burnout. The presenter will then explore Empathetic Leadership as a standard leadership model in social work practice by defining empathy, leadership, and when leaders lead with empathy it can be transformational because research is suggesting that leaders who are empathetic have workers who experience less burnout.

The implications that empathetic leadership could have on the social work profession aren’t known but the possibilities are exciting because the research points to healthier work environments, increased productivity, and overall better health outcomes for employees. To create this level of change it would take a systematic approach starting with a Empathetic Leadership Curriculum Pilot to teach, model, and replicate empathetic leadership theory and skills to MSW students.

Could empathetic leadership improve burnout? This presentation will have you wanting to answer that question.

Rural Mental Health: Cultural Competence, Ecological Perspective, and Training

The aim of this capstone presentation is to bring attention to the unique barriers of availability, accessibility, and acceptability that rural populations in the United States tend to face in relation to mental health services. This capstone presentation will discuss how cultural competence in rural areas is lacking and should be tailored to the area where the rural population served resides. Cultural competence tailored to the population served is important for mental health agencies and providers to possess to work effectively with rural populations.

Specifically, understanding how each unique rural area presents with barriers to mental health services that have an interconnected relationship with the culture in that area. The incorporation of ecological perspective into cultural competence is a proposed solution for mental health agencies and professionals to use to more effectively understand the influence of their geographic location on their area’s culture. Recommendations to alter trainings for mental health professionals at rural community mental health centers, along with agency policy, are provided to incorporate this perspective.

Leadership Strategies for New Supervisors on Leading a Diverse Workforce

It is said that people spend more time at work than they do at home. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on average, people spend one-third of their life at work (BLS 2022). Having a poor experience in the workplace leads to turnover, decreased productivity, disengaged employees, and poor customer service.

Leading others can be difficult, and most times leaders supervise by the way they were led or have no supervisory training at all. This capstone product provides three distinct scholarly articles that address leadership strategies for new supervisors in leading a diverse workforce.

Product one is a systematic literature review that examined leadership frameworks that promote job satisfaction and retention of healthcare employees. Product two consists of a conceptual framework for cross-cultural supervision, that promotes employee engagement and retention. Product three focuses on leadership training and the importance of the supervisor-supervisee relationship.

Real and Radical Allyship: Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Black Trans Women

Black trans women are one of the most vulnerable populations in America. Black trans women face multiple forms of legalized and social discrimination that impacts both their livelihoods and mental health. Unfortunately, most social workers and other mental health professionals are not trained on how to address the mental needs of Black trans women.

This presentation will explore the impact of discrimination on the mental health of Black trans women, how clinicians can treat the mental health needs of Black trans women, and how clinicians can become radical allies to Black trans women in the process.

Developing A Trauma-Informed Care Training Model For Youth Emergency Shelter Care

Trauma is a pervasive issue that impacts all youth within congregate care settings. Because of the complexity of trauma and the increasing rates of youth admitted to congregate care settings, service delivery systems, such as youth emergency shelter care, should incorporate trauma-informed care practices to assist in decreasing staff burnout and vicarious trauma, as well as assist the youth in post-traumatic recovery and growth. Trauma-informed care is a clinical model designed to address the comprehensive understanding of trauma, both clinically and organizationally.

This presentation will examine an effective implementation method for Developing a Trauma-Informed Care Training Model for Youth Emergency Shelter Care. The proposed training model will be intended to implement for staff training purposes but will ultimately be a systematic framework that will impact all levels of an agency. If youth emergency shelter care agencies were to incorporate this framework, they would be providing knowledge and understanding to their staff?and security and safety to their residents.

Leadership in Overcoming Confirmation Bias through Effective Communication: A Reflection-Based Conversation Guide

Confirmation bias can hinder effective communication, especially in environments where groupthink can exacerbate the problem. This presentation focuses on the need for leadership to overcome confirmation bias through reflective practices, effective communication, and the use of a conversation guide.

The presentation will define confirmation bias and its impact on communication. It will explore how confirmation bias can create blind spots that prevent individuals from considering alternative perspectives, leading to communication breakdowns.

It will examine the importance of reflective practices in overcoming confirmation bias before engaging in conversation. By assessing personal biases and reflecting on their mindset, leaders can identify opportunities for growth and develop a more open-minded and respectful approach to communication.

Next, it will discuss effective communication strategies that leaders can use to counter confirmation bias. It will explore techniques such as active listening, asking open-ended questions, and encouraging constructive dissent. These techniques can help participants to identify and challenge assumptions, leading to better communication outcomes.

Finally, we will introduce a conversation guide that can help facilitate constructive dialogue and promote open-mindedness and respect. This guide provides a structured framework for discussing complex issues and encourages participants to consider multiple perspectives.

By the end of this presentation, participants will have a better understanding of confirmation bias and its impact on communication, as well as practical tools and techniques for overcoming this bias. They will also be equipped with a conversation guide that can help foster constructive dialogue and promote open-mindedness in future conversations.

Bridging the Gap: Healthcare Access To Medication-Assisted Treatment and the Power of Coalitions

The opioid epidemic continues. Opioid-related deaths have dramatically increased in the past decade, and issues related to opioids continue to affect millions. National efforts have been implemented through legislation to impact untreated addiction by increasing the availability of harm reduction services and removing barriers to treatment for addiction.

This presentation will provide a historical overview of the opioid epidemic and the efforts made by legislation during that time to address the identified misuse of opioids and the fatal consequence for the nation. An understanding of access barriers for those who need treatment will be provided. Then a proposal to address those barriers will be discussed through the classic theoretical tenets of Systems Theory and Psychodynamic Theory but through a contemporary lens delivering a grassroots approach to building a coalition of professionals to tackle the opioid epidemic in their communities.

Symptomatic Overlaps Between Autism and Dementia in Older Adults

Few studies have examined the overlap of symptoms between autism and dementia in people over the age of 65. This research proposal will address the gap in the literature which indicates that it would be informative to conduct a study similar to a previous one but with a more diverse subsection of people with late onset dementia. This review will broaden the understanding of the relationship between autism and dementia, highlighting the impact of the similarities.

Through an analysis of interviews of patients and caregivers, a consideration of innovative technology/Social Learning Theory, Constructivist Grounded Theory, assessment scales for dementia and autism, and a promotion of advanced care planning, this study will explore whether there is a link between autism and dementia and if there is, what further development is needed of existing interventions.

Effective Treatment For Young Children With Co-Occurring Anxiety And Speech, Language, And/Or Communication Needs

There is a high co-occurrence of anxiety and speech, language, and/or communication needs (SLCNs) in young children. Many young children with SLCNs have had repeated, distressing experiences around language and communication resulting in frequent dysregulation when they are expected to use language and/or communications skills they do not have. This makes traditional mental health therapeutic modalities challenging as they often rely on spoken language.

This presentation will address treatment needs for young children experiencing anxiety and SLCNs. The current research on this population will be reviewed, including conventional treatment modalities. The presenter will provide explanations about SLCNs, how young children with SLCNs and co-occurring anxiety present to treatment, and the population’s specific treatment needs.

Additionally, a treatment framework will be presented via a fictionalized case study to demonstrate how child-centered play therapy through the lens of polyvagal theory can be used to provide effective and holistic mental health treatment for young children with co-occurring anxiety and SLCNs.

Discriminatory Healthcare Experiences and Opioid Use Disorder: A Study of Mental Health Outcomes

When the opioid crisis re-introduced itself to the United States in 1975, individuals began advocating for change regarding treatment of various substance use disorders – something that the health care system was not prepared for or interested in. The creation of programs outside of the hospital setting in forms of detox centers, inpatient programs, and outpatient programs set the tone for discriminatory views and biases regarding SUD that have continued to be present for the past decades.

The purpose of this project is to examine mental health outcomes of discriminatory healthcare experiences and opioid use disorder through three different papers: the systematic literature review, the conceptual paper, and the practice application paper.

The systematic literature review presents an evidence-based analysis of the current knowledge regarding mental health outcomes of discriminatory healthcare experiences and opioid use disorder. It reviews literature related to the history of healthcare and opioid use disorder discrimination and various themes among past research findings and recommendations.

The conceptual paper identifies, explores, and analyzes relevant theories that can be used to address mental health outcomes of discriminatory healthcare experiences and opioid use disorder. It synthesizes knowledge, past change efforts, and presents new recommendations to fill gaps in research.

Lastly, the practice application paper uses synthesized knowledge and theories to solve this practice problem.