MPG Consulting Presents:
Culturally and Racially Attuned CEU Credits
For Individuals and Organizations

Course Title: Diagnosing Depression in Adolescents of Color - inspired by the work of Terri M Williams

Subject/Topic: The book, Black Pain, by Terri M Williams, has inspired the content of this course. Excerpts from her book will be used throughout to highlight significant themes and to stimulate discussion.

Depression is often misdiagnosed and untreated in teens, particularly adolescents of color. This course provides participants will the information they need to help them recognize the signs of depression in youth of color. It will help them differentiate between how depression presents in adults and will pay special attention to addressing the issues facing teen-agers of color.

This course will highlight how race and gender influence the likelihood that the adolescent will develop depression, as well as how their race and gender impact on how and if they receive the proper treatment.

Description of course: This course will begin with a pre-test to challenge participants and their understanding of how often depression is misdiagnosed and goes untreated, particularly in the adolescent population of color. Topics such as immigration, cultural considerations and language will be taken into account and explored as barriers to and discrimination in treatment. Signs and symptoms of depression will be reviewed in creative, interactive exercises that expand participant’s perspectives around how depression is misunderstood as oppositional behavior. Clarification and discussion will include what we don’t recognize as depression and why not, when working with adolescents of color.

Name and Qualifications of the Presenter:

Ellen Blaufox, LCSW-R is Clinical Director of Linden Hill RTF (Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services) the largest psychiatric, residential treatment facility in New York State. She has been working with adolescents, adults and families who live with chronic stress, histories of trauma and mental illness for almost twenty years. During her time at Linden Hill, Ellen has had the opportunity to participate as a Core Team Member (for JBFCS) in the National Child Traumatic Study Network Learning Collaborative with the founders of TF-CBT. She has been practicing TF-CBT for nearly eight years and has provided consultation and supervision for TF-CBT clinicians. Additionally, Ellen was a Core Team Member of the implementation of the Sanctuary Model on the Westchester Campus of JBFCS. She participated in the adaptation and implementation of the Sanctuary Model from an adult modality to the adolescent population.

Ms. Blaufox has been an Adjunct Professor at New York University Silver Graduate School of Social Work for four years, where she teaches Diversity, Racism, Oppression and Privilege. She has also taught Trauma and Resilience at Iona College. Ellen is the Founder of True Edge Workshop whose mission is to empower girls and women by challenging their cognitive distortions and increasing their practice of self-compassion. She is a well-respected authority and has been presenting workshops on such topics as white privilege, feminism, self-abuse, trauma, depression, and self-care for the last ten years. In addition, she is a contributor to Mary Pender Greene’s chapter “Family and Children’s’ Services” in the publication Encyclopedia of Social Work with Groups.  Ms. Blaufox is in private practice in Westchester County. She is a graduate of Circle in the Square Theater Summer School and NYSSA (Julliard).

Teaching Methods:

This course is geared toward adult learners. It will be taught with a combination of methods. It will include a combination of didactic lecture and Power Point. There will be interactive activities such as role-play and practice time for skills and techniques that will allow the participants to begin to internalize the tools and techniques taught in the course. Video clips will be used to stimulate conversation and serve as case examples. They will be utilized to discuss both theory and intervention techniques. Discussion of case examples will occur throughout.

Learning Objectives:

Session One:

    1. Participants will understand how age, race and culture affect diagnosis and accessibility to appropriate treatment.
    2. Participants will review the signs and symptoms of depression in youth versus adults.
    3. Participants will understand the minimization of youth and how “acting out” is a means of communication.
    4. Participants will understand how and why generations of families of color go untreated and how caregiver’s inability to recognize their own mental health issue impacts on their ability to see the struggles of their children.
    5. Participants will explore how “fatherlessness” impacts on youth, as well as the strength (sometimes minimized by clinicians) of extended, as well as single-parent homes.
    6. Participants will explore issues of shame, secrecy, stigma and fear as they result to youth receiving treatment for depression.
    7. Participant will discuss the role of spirituality and the barriers and benefits in using the church for support and strength.

Session Two:

    1. Participants will learn how violence and anger mask depression and how both the oppressed and the oppressor internalize racism.
    2. Participants will examine the impact of structural racism, sexism and other power inequities in the lives of their clients.
    3. Participants will learn the most effective treatment methods and interventions for treating depression in youth of color.
    4. Participants will view video clips and use the film characters in break out groups as case examples to assess depression and create a treatment plan using the interventions taught in the class.

Length of course and time frame:

The course will provide 6 contact hours to be taught in one session.

Location: First Steps to Recovery, 312 W 47th St. Ground Floor, New York, NY 10036
Date and time: Sat. 3/19/16 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

To sign up for this course, click here.

Mary Pender Greene, LCSW-R, CGP
President & CEO

Midtown Manhattan Location