Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Promising Practices 2015

For my event this semester I attended the 18th Annual Multicultural Promising Practices Conference at Rhode Island College.  This year's conference was about "The power of Community Partnerships: Advancing Public Health & Human Rights through Education and Service."  Dr. Nicole Alexander- Scott spend the first hour showing all of the health inequalities people face people of their level of education, race, class, income, etc.  One of my favorite things she said was "It isn't about having equal access to healthcare as much as it is having equal access to health."

Promising Practices

Promising Practices 2015 @ RIC

Workshops that were offered

The first workshop that I went to was Reducing Stigma and Increasing Support: pregnant Women, Substance Use and Newborns.  Heather Howard and Marcia VanFleet talked about the negative stigmas associated with opioid use during pregnancy.  Instead of separating mother and baby, their goal is to "reduce stigma and increase support."  From a social workers point of view, they want to make it a shared decision making process.  There is so much blame put on the mothers and so much internal and external stigmas that the women feel a lot of shame.  We do not know what these mothers were going through at the time so instead of making them feel worse about their situation we want to help both them and the baby the best we can.  This presentation reminded me of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk about the Danger of a Single Story.  In the video Adichie talks about how sometimes we only see one story of something, then we are quick to judge and stereotype.  The problem with one story is that it is constantly showing people as only one thing until that is was everyone else believes.  There needs to be a balance of stories.  When people are educated with the other side to these women's stories than the sigma can begin to go away.

Resource for moms-to-be, parents and babies:  Love That Baby

We were shown a very powerful video to help us better understand:

The second workshop that I went to was Recovery- Oriented Systems of Care: Interpersonal Violence, Substance Use and Mental Health.  Presenter Kathleen A. Carty showed us an amazing presentation about the flaws of the criminal justice system and how it is difficult for people to seek the help they need.  Many people would benefit from treatment but are not given equal opportunity to receive treatment.  We also discussed the poor planning that goes into supporting someone after being released from incarceration.

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