When Frank L. Greenagel, Jr., LCSW, LCADC, attended the 2011 National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) in San Diego, he found the evening professional support groups and 12-Step meetings to be extremely helpful in keeping busy professionals in balance, but he recalled that not even 5% of conference attendees took advantage of the opportunity.
Upon his return to New Jersey, the overseer of recovery housing programs at Rutgers University and an adjunct professor at its School of Social Work would decide to organize a burnout prevention group for individuals working in the behavioral health field. That effort gained some momentum, but its reach did not extend anywhere beyond the state's borders.
So Greenagel, who last fall delivered a powerful closing keynote talk on emerging drug trends at NCAD in Anaheim, Calif., last week began spreading the word about an upcoming two-and-a-half day retreat that will offer a mix of continuing education and time to decompress.
“Working in addiction and mental health can be quite stressful: fighting with insurance companies, a lack of adequate resources, finding and training and keeping skilled employees, and the occasional tragedy are just some of the many difficult aspects of our job that we deal with regularly,” Greenagel wrote in the opening of his communication to colleagues.
The April 6-9 retreat will take place at Enders Island, an 11-acre island off the coast of the seaport town of Mystic, Conn. Greenagel says organizers are seeking CEUs for the event from three professional associations, including NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals.
The retreat will feature three professional burnout seminars that will focus on self-care, strategies for dealing with work stress, and the role of professional support groups. Yoga sessions and a meditation and breathing session also are scheduled, and CEUs are expected to be available for these as well because they will address how to use these techniques as a therapeutic tool, Greenagel says.
“There will be plenty of down time to enjoy the island, go to Mystic, rest, read and exercise,” Greenagel added in his invitation. The online announcement of the event even gives a plug to Mystic's “famous Sea Swirl Clam-Shack for seafood, chowder, and ice cream.” That ought to brighten the spirits of anyone who is enduring a cold winter in the nation's northern tier!
For more information about this retreat, click here.