Joan of Arc & Transgender Military Service

By Charles Hoy-Ellis, PhD, LCSW, Assistant Professor, University of Utah College of Social Work

 

Transgender people have served honorably and bravely in militaries for as long as there have been militaries.

Consider Joan of Arc. We know nothing about her gender identity or sexual orientation, however the historical record overwhelmingly shows she wore armor as clothing and took a prominent public service role reserved exclusively for men, leading the French armies to victory against the English in 1429. This dress and role could easily be read as gender-non-conforming. In fact, her conviction and subsequent burning alive at the stake were based on heresy, in part because she had dared wear men’s clothes and act in a man’s role to save her nation. Yet, it would be difficult to argue that Joan of Arc’s decision to wear armor and cut her hair short made her any less effective as a soldier or a leader. 

It has been said that history repeats itself. A more accurate observation states that “history does not repeat itself; people repeat history.” And so, many are clueless when it comes to history.

Last year, on June 30, 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the repeal of the ban on transgender Americans serving openly in the military. This long-overdue measure followed the Pentagon’s repeal of the notorious “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DODT) policy in 2011, which allowed lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) Americans to serve in the military on the explicit condition that they kept their sexual orientation a secret.

Although it is challenging to come up with unimpeachable estimates, it is believed that there are some 134,000 transgender veterans and retirees from the Guard and Reserves, (Gates & Herman, 2014). In a large community-based research project studying LGBT adults aged 50 and older, 41% of transgender older participants indicated that they have served in the military (Hoy-Ellis et al., 2017). Eighteen other nations—including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia—have, for years, allowed transgender citizens to serve openly and proudly in their militaries. The reality is that through joint military exercises, the U.S. military has already worked alongside openly transgender soldiers… and civilization as we know it has not collapsed!

Research shows that military exclusion of transgender service members has significant physical, mental, and social health outcomes. For some transgender Americans, having served in the military appears to be associated with lower levels of depression and higher mental health related quality of life (MHQOL) in later life (Hoy-Ellis et al., 2017).

While most, if not all marginalized groups experience minority stressors due to their minority group status, Meyer (2003) specified a Minority Stress Model that was an initial conceptualization of the causes and consequences of dealing with LGBT-specific minority stressors on top of general stressors that most people experience. Minority stressors include actual experiences of discrimination and victimization and fear of being rejected by important others (such as friends or family members), should one’s LGBT identity become known. Also included are internalized identity stigma (the internalization of stereotypical, negative attitudes, values, or beliefs regarding marginalized social groups), and hiding who one is to make oneself a less visible target for discrimination and victimization. While hiding one’s LGBT identity might be helpful in the short term, over the long-term this becomes yet another chronic stressor that has significant negative physical, mental, and social health outcomes. Fredriksen-Goldsen and colleagues (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al., 2014) built upon minority stress concepts and incorporated a resilience framework that also attends to the life course perspective to give a fuller, more robust conceptualization of the multicontextual, multilevel dynamics of everyday LGBT lives.

The detrimental impact of prohibiting transgender Americans from serving in the military is not limited to the individual. 

Best estimates suggest that there are approximately 15,000 currently serving transgender military service members (Gates & Herman, 2014). There is abundant evidence that transgender (and LGB) Americans have served honorably in the U.S. military for decades upon decades (Canaday, 2009). Far from destroying morale, LGBT service members have contributed every bit as much as their heterosexual counterparts. One of the cornerstones of unit cohesiveness is trust; trust relies on openness and honesty. Allowing transgender Americans to serve openly would significantly reduce the impact of minority stress. Stating categorically that our transgender citizens cannot honorably serve in any capacity will severely and negatively impact the mental and physical health of transgender military service members and ultimately diminish the effectiveness of our military. 

 

Canaday, M. (2009). The straight state: Sexuality and citizenship in twentieth-century America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Fredriksen-Goldsen, K. I., Simoni, J. M., Kim, H.-J., Lehavot, K., Walters, K. L., Yang, J., . . . Muraco, A. (2014). The health equity promotion model: Reconceptualization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health disparities. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84(6), 653–683. doi:10.1037/ort0000030

Gates, G. J., & Herman, J. (2014). Transgender Military Service in the United States. Los Angeles: The Williams Institute: UCLA School of Law.

Hoy-Ellis, C. P., Shiu, C., Sullivan, K. M., Kim, H. J., Sturges, A. M., & Fredriksen-Goldsen, K. I. (2017). Prior military service, identity stigma, and mental health among transgender older adults. The Gerontologist, 57(suppl 1), S63-S71. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw173

Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129(5), 674 – 697. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.129.5.674

 

The views and opinions expressed on the interACTION blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Utah or the College of Social Work.

social workers

General Summary: The Marian Center is an inpatient hospital serving the needs of seniors with mental health related problems. We also run and operate an outpatient therapy group with psychiatric medication management. This job is a clinical role and would be working with both the inpatient and outpatient programs. This includes conducting services such as; psycho-social assessments, treatment plans, individual therapy, group therapy, family services, case management, discharge planning, and more. Works alongside the Director of Social Services to ensure Social Services department is working efficiently, improving processes, and enhancing positive team culture.

More specifically:

Completes psychosocial history and summary or update or admission within two treatment days of admission. Develops Treatment plans within three treatment days of admission and participates as a team member in the Interdisciplinary Treatment Planning Conference. Implements and reviews Treatment Plans with patients. Provides treatment coordination with assigned patients. Documents Case Conferences for problematic cases. Documents patients group participation and individual interactions daily in medical record. Evaluates data from all sources and recommends referrals as need. Assesses patients and families for possibility of family therapy. Provides or refers out family therapy or support group as deemed necessary by self and other team members. Develops lectures and special focus topics for program enhancement as requested. Assists in formulating Discharge Plan. Provides therapeutic services to patients and their families and groups of patients in relation to functional impairments related to their illness and behaviors resulting from psychodynamics’ of their illness. Emotional problems between family and patients in coping with anxieties, stress precipitated by illness and hospitalization. Psycho-education about their illness and aids in coping and improving their quality of life. Facilitates group therapy. Participates in community meetings, in-service training, and team meetings. Participates in public relations, develops referral sources, and provides community education. Receives telephone inquiries and assists in assessments. Participates in maintaining patient safety standards. Complies with and implements corporate, hospital, and department policies and procedures. Provides information to referral sources within confidentiality guidelines. Works together with other departments when they need help in program development. Develops and maintains working relationships between the Program and other outside community agencies.

Qualifications:1. Master’s Degree in Social Work, Psychology, or related field. Active State License as Clinical Mental Health Professional is required. (Required licenses and Certifications will be reviewed and need to be current). Minimum of two years relevant experience preferred, (We are willing to consider those working toward clinical licence). 2. Clear a Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) check as part of a Department of Health, Bureau of Licensing process.3. Ability to read, write and speak the English language in such a manner as to be understood by patients, residents, participants, and other associates.

Job Type: Full-time

Apply through indeed: https://www.indeed.com/cmp/The-Marian-Center-at-St.-Joseph-Villa/jobs/Social-Worker-c472225e73ee6f45?q=marian

or email Shane Pitcher at Spitcher@ensignservcies.net

Geriatric Clinical Manager (w/$1,200 sign-on bonus)

Highland Ridge Hospital

Geriatric Clinical Manager (w/$1,200 sign-on bonus)

The Clinical Manager provides treatment to geriatric and adolescent psychiatric and chemical dependency patients in an inpatient setting.  We are offering a $1,200 sign-on bonus for this job.

Job duties include:

*Plans and conducts individual, family, and/or group therapy as assigned by Director of Clinical Services or Physician’s order.

*Conducts, assesses and interprets psychosocial assessment as assigned by Director of Clinical Services or Physician’s order.

*Reviews all multidisciplinary assessments and complies a multidisciplinary treatment plan.

*Coordinates discharge planning as assigned by Director of Clinical Services.. 

This is a full time position.  City is Midvale, UT.

*Clinical license required (licensed Social Worker or Counselor)
*1-2 years of inpatient psychiatric experience 

Apply online at:  https://recruiting.ultipro.com/ACA1001/JobBoard/f24b6286-a80b-4d02-e4e1-ad04762a00de/OpportunityDetail?opportunityId=8562baca-6330-4914-a545-19689118be45

Independence in Older Adults

By Beth Adair, Master of Social Work Student, 2016-2017 George S. and Delores Doré Eccles Neighbors Helping Neighbors Scholar

 

For the past seven months, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with older adults through the University of Utah College of Social Work’s Neighbor’s Helping Neighbors (NHN) program. This experience has provided insight into the lives of those older adults who wish to remain independent as they work through the changes that come with aging. Many things can take independence from us as we age — disease, accident, loss of hearing or sight, financial problems, change in family situations, and many other physical and social shifts. Our goal at NHN is to work with older adults to find ways to overcome those challenges, where possible, and help them remain independent.

One way that NHN is working to prevent loss of independence is a focus on the mental health of the older adults with whom we work. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently conducted research addressing the importance of mental health for older adults. Depressive disorders can add to complications of already existing health problems, which could easily lead to a loss of independence. The report also states, “Depression is not a normal part of growing older. Rather, in 80% of cases it is a treatable condition.” The report goes on to explain that because depression is normalized as a part of aging, often it is not recognized and goes untreated.

Depression is not the only thing that can take away the independence of an older adult. In order to illustrate the various levels and the situations that effect independence, I would like to talk about two clients who have worked with NHN (names and details have been changed to protect privacy).

Mary has macular degeneration, and has almost completely lost her eye sight. She has been able to remain mostly independent. She has a positive supportive family and friends who are willing to assist her with the activities of daily living she is unable to do alone. She also has a very positive attitude about her situation stating, “Well, there’s nothing I can do to change it, so I may as well accept it!” Her attitude has also allowed her to have the confidence to learn to use technology to remain connected to friends, family, and supports. Those connections provide the support she needs to remain independent. She also has a companion from the Blind Center who comes once a week to support her in learning the new technology on her iPhone.

In contrast, Hazel moved to Utah to be with her son and has very few social supports. Her son has since become estranged and she now lives in a care center. Although her living situation is not fully independent, NHN has been able to provide therapeutic intervention that helped her to make social connections, allowing for more independence to do things like go to the store or social activities away from the care center. Hazel has started to attend church and has begun to make friends in the care center. She is also learning to utilize technology; for her this allows for connection to people back home.

While independence for these two clients looks different, they are two examples of how NHN is able to help connect people to the resources they need to remain as independent as their situation allows. Independence is key for older adults as they work through the changes that come with aging.

 

Reference:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. The State of Mental Health and Aging in America Issue Brief 1: What Do the Data Tell Us? Atlanta, GA: National Association of Chronic Disease Directors; 2008.

New Choices Waiver Case Manager

Envision Quality Supports

6364 S. Highland Dr. #105
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
Phone:  (801) 209-1357
website:  www.envisionquality.com

 

Job Description:  New Choices Waiver Case Manager

Please email letter of interest and current resume to: chris@envisionquality.com

 

JOB SUMMARY

Provides social work case management to adults in home and community-based settings following County, State and Federal regulations, policies and procedures.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Social Work, Gerontology, or other closely related field.

Must have a current license as a Social Service Worker in the State of Utah.

Due to the nature of this position, the successful applicant must pass a required background investigation.

 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Uses acceptable case management practices to complete intakes and comprehensive assessments/reassessments to screen and determine eligibility, detailing presenting client care and safety needs.
  • Develops, implements, monitors, and evaluates comprehensive care plans that address identified client service and safety needs.
  • Creates and maintains accurate clinical and financial records for assigned clients.
  • Manages fiscal expenditures of assigned caseload adjusting clients to maintain desired spending levels.
  • Works closely with contracted service providers to ensure quality of care of services provided.
  • Provides advocacy on behalf of clients as appropriate.

 

SALARY

Commensurate with experience

 

Remembering Gene Wilder

By Troy Andersen, PhD, LCSW, Director of the W.D. Goodwill Initiatives on Aging, University of Utah College of Social Work

 

One of the most memorable scenes from the 1974 classic “Young Frankenstein” was when Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) sent Igor (Marty Feldman) in search of a brain for his greatest scientific experiment: creating life.  Igor, unfortunately, retrieved the brain he later identified as belonging to Abby Normal.  This unfortunate misstep leads to Dr. Frankenstein’s life work taking funny and tragic turns throughout the movie.  Fast forward several decades and, sadly, there were steady abnormal shifts in Gene Wilder’s own brain, caused by Alzheimer’s disease that led to his progressive decline and subsequent death.

Alzheimer’s disease is no respecter of status, wealth, or accomplishment.  Just two years ago, Robin Williams – another comedic legend – ended his life due to the subtle symptomatic changes associated with Lewy body dementia (a related dementia of the more widely-known Alzheimer’s disease).  Glen Campbell, another national icon, is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease and is no longer able to communicate with his loved ones.  These national celebrities shine the spotlight on the neurologic conditions that have robbed them of the gifts they utilized to perfect their craft and enhance our lives.  Alzheimer’s disease is notorious for robbing individuals of their ability to entertain, problem solve, remember, relate, communicate, and participate in life’s most meaningful experiences.

What we don’t get to see is the quiet, private, and painful struggles of their love ones as they’ve watched wit and laughter and music and light gradually slip away.  This is the same tragic process that’s witnessed by millions of caregivers in our country as the numbers of individuals struggling with Alzheimer’s disease continues to increase.  Family members know all too well of the global and catastrophic damage that occurs in the brain, impairing function and personality, as someone progresses through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

As we re-watch our favorite movies of our favorite comedians and musicians, as we recollect how they have altered our lives in profound ways, might we also reflect on the millions of less well-known individuals who’ve lived quieter lives who are walking through the silencing journey in their longest goodbye.

outpatient clinic social worker

This is a posting recruiting for an outpatient clinic social worker for the brand new UNI Geriatric Psychiatry clinic.  This is a great opportunity for a LCSW interested in building a program from the ground up with a very Social Work friendly Geriatric Psychiatry team. Great opportunity for a clinician who is interested in focusing on counseling with a built-in referral source and no billing headaches.  Good candidates would have experience working with older adults, understanding of the medical system/ medical social work, experience working with grief and loss issues, and experience with dementia patients and their caregivers (additional dementia training will be offered upon hire). The clinic will open in August at UNI and will be moving to Farmington around November when the new space is ready.

https://careers-uuhc.icims.com/jobs/21700/licensed-clinical-social-worker-%28lcsw%29—farmington-clinic/job?mobile=false&width=801&height=500&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=-420&jun1offset=-360

Micro Losses: The Effects of Repeated Physical and Relational Losses

By Sarah Stephenson, MSW Student, 2015-2016 George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Neighbors Helping Neighbors Scholar

 

Loss happens during every stage of life.  As a person begins to age, they learn to adapt to many different types of loss including physical, social, and emotional losses.  Some of these losses may even go to the extent of impairing our ability to live independently.  Sometimes it might feel like we are stuck on a rock in the middle of a stream with no good place to step next.

Physical loss and change can happen slowly or have a sudden onset.  These losses might include things like vision and hearing problems, decreased physical energy and stamina, less flexibility, and memory problems.  Often times a loss of physical ability can directly affect one’s ability to participate in social events.  For example, a person with significant hearing loss might begin to avoid social situations for fear of missing out on conversation or having to ask others to repeat themselves.  A person with heart disease who suffers from shortness of breath might be unable to continue daily walks with friends. Over time, these declines in social interactions could possibly lead to a fading of friendships (Aging and Loss, 2006).

The loss of relationships can also lead to a change in daily function.  As individuals age, their roles (such as active parent, employee, and spouse) within their social systems often shift.  These changes in one’s primary relationships can lead to feelings of loss of control over one’s life.  Additionally, as physical and relational losses increase, social networks can begin to shrink.  This can lead to poorer health, which can then lead to an even bigger decline in ability to interact socially (Moen, Dempster-McClain, & Williams, 1992).  Many people experience depression in old age, either due to living alone or a lack of close family ties and connections with a culture.  It is often difficult to initiate new friendships and find new networks (Singh, 2009).

Such losses, which are a normal part of aging, can also create feelings of frustration, uselessness, and sadness.  It is common for such individuals to experience emotions of fear, anger, guilt, and confusion.  In order to cope with these micro-losses it is important to remember to be patient and practice self-acceptance.  Recognize that loss is a common experience and not a sign of personal failure.  Staying connected by maintaining relationships and working to pursue new experiences can also help in dealing with loss (Aging and Loss, 2006).

 

References:

Aging and Loss. (2006). Retrieved March, 2016, from http://www.cornellcares.org/pdf/handouts/gal_lossindependence.pdf

Moen, P., Dempster-McClain, D., & Williams, R. M. (1992). Successful aging: A life-course perspective on women’s multiple roles and health. The American Journal of Sociology, 97, 1612–1638.

Singh, A., & Misra, N. (2009). Loneliness, depression and sociability in old age. Ind Psychiatry J Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 18(1), 51.

Service Coordinator

We are currently looking for a Full Time Service Coordinator for Friendship Manor, a retirement apartment community located in Salt Lake.

Service Coordinator full time position for an affordable senior/disabled housing community located in Salt Lake City, UT

A Service Coordinator is a social service staff person who links elderly and/or disabled residents of the affordable housing community to supportive or medical services in the general community which they need to continue to live independently. This function includes development of contacts with service providers and agencies for resident referrals and the ongoing service management responsibility. The Service Coordinator educates residents on available services and monitors provisions of services.

Minimum Qualifications: A Bachelor of Social Work or degree in Gerontology, Psychology or Counseling is preferable; a college degree is fully acceptable. However, individuals without a degree, but with appropriate work experience may be hired. • Demonstrated working knowledge of community services in the region with particular knowledge of services that are provided for the population living within the facility. • Training in the aging process, elder services, disability services, eligibility for and procedures of Federal and applicable State entitlement programs, legal liability issues relating to providing service coordination, drug and alcohol use and abuse by the elderly, and mental health issues. • Two to three years’ experience in social service delivery with senior citizens and nonelderly disabled. Some supervisory or management experience is desirable. • Demonstrated ability to advocate, organize, problem-solve and provide results for the elderly and disabled served.

To Apply:  Submit professional resume and cover letter to Josh Matthews, jmatthews@nwrecc.org

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOSPICE

Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Rocky Mountain Hospice -Layton, UT

 

Rocky Mountain Care is looking for an Exceptional person who is interested in Exceeding the Expectations of Everyone they encounter, to fill the role of Social Worker on our amazing hospice team!

This position is part time, 20-30 hours per week, with great potential to go full time as census increases.

If this is you, come join our team!

MISSION STATEMENT:
Rocky Mountain Care is a team of leaders that values others. We provide the best environment and “simply the best care”. We produce exceptional results through commitment, accountability, trust and hard work.

Responsibilities include:

  • Provides social work services to meet the needs of the patient and family
  • Attends all IDT and mandatory meetings
  • Communicate effectively to interdisciplinary team members
  • Ensures documentation of communication skills and activities with the patient such as: assessment of emotional factors, counseling for long-range planning and decision-making, community resource planning, short term therapy, etc.

Position Requirements:

  • Must have a Valid Utah CSW/LCSW License
  • Must demonstrate strong Clinical, Organizational, and Communication Skills
  • Hospice experience preferred

Job Type: Part Time to Full Time

Required license or certification:

  • LCSW (CSW Considered)

 

If you are interested in joining our team, please email your resume to: Joshua.Simpson@rmcare.com