Continuing in our efforts to provide face-to-face opportunities for MAPs and mental health professionals (MHPs) to better understand each other, B4U-ACT provided a workshop at the National Association of Social Workers, Maryland Chapter’s Fall Clinical Conference on September 28, 2012. Two MAPs and two MHPs jointly presented a workshop entitled “Beyond Fear & Distrust: Dialogue About & With Mental Health Professionals and Minor-Attracted Persons” to 29 participants. Post-workshop evaluations indicated that on 5 different criteria, 86-93% of participants rated the session as “Excellent” or “Good.” Comments included: “Very beneficial workshop. Due to high level of discussion around topic, might want to make this an all-day workshop and/or keynote speech discussion.” “Excellent, thoughtful, heartfelt presentation.” “Glad NASW took the risk to present this! VERY worthwhile!”
B4U-ACT considers in-person dialog an indispensable component to dismantling Marvel Comics-grade representations of MAPs in the public psyche. Since 2008, we’ve coordinated six annual workshops inviting MAPs and MHPs to convene on neutral territory to discuss the biases, apprehensions, and other obstacles to achieving mutual understanding between the two groups. Sadly, economic cutbacks in 2010 that resulted in the loss of B4U-ACT’s state funding have prevented us from carrying those dialogs forward; however, the funds necessary to reinstate this crucial initiative are comparatively modest compared to what one might expect — nothing a band of compassionate, progressive thinkers couldn’t spare!
Please consider lending a voice to a community all too often spoken for by popular opinion and redefining the treatment paradigm by helping provide clinicians and therapists a face-to-face alternative to the unknown quantity.