By Mary McPhail Gray
NVW Board Chair
Nonviolence Works faced challenges, opportunities and success in 2017. We want to reach out to Taosenos and celebrate our success! This year our CEO Simon Torrez and our Lead Clinician Sadie Quintanilla have led the staff through successful changes with enhanced clinical expertise, larger staff, stronger programs, and exciting new plans for additional services.
We welcomed three new clinicians, and all our clinicians enhanced and focused their therapeutic skills. You may not know that we have an expert in infant mental health, several clinicians who respond with skill in crisis situations, a clinician who is skilled in vocational rehabilitation, and several who regularly intervene to prevent suicides. Our clinicians all have master’s degrees and are able to deal with grief and loss, trauma, anger management, and custody and foster child issues.
One great strength of the NVW clinical staff is their ability to incorporate different skills into the therapeutic process. One clinician uses a trained service dog in her clinical practice, several incorporate yoga, dance and art, and several are skilled in the use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).
Our clinicians have worked in in-patient treatment settings, with homeless individuals, in wilderness therapy, and in treatment centers for handicapped individuals. They can approach their work at NVW with creativity and depth of compassion and skills.
During 2017 we provided these skills to youth, families and individuals for a total of 1,702 clients. These individuals are self-referred or referred from the school system, the legal system and a variety of agencies with whom we cooperate. Our programs currently served the following numbers in 2017:
- Gang Resistance is Powerful (GRIP) in elementary and middle schools reached 745 students.
- Familia y Mundo, our therapeutic afterschool and summer camp, served 62 youth.
- In-school therapeutic and group services reached 212 students.
- Families served through couples counseling or supervised visitation numbered 23.
- Nonviolence Awareness Class (NAC) for men served 18.
- Questa Truancy and Mentoring programs served 52.
These programs have benefited from skilled leadership under Torrez and Quintanilla to increase staff specialization and to participate in challenging new planning for a Residential Treatment Program for adolescent boys and special new programs for veterans. Working with Taos County, plans have been approved, and we are waiting for the final contract signing to collaborate with the Juvenile Detention Facility for the introduction of a residential program that will benefit from the special therapeutic skills at NVW.
Our youth programs have benefited from community cooperation, such as visits to the Harwood Museum, movement guidance from Defend U Academy staff, exploring pottery at the Fire Playce, and swimming at Higher Altitude Athletics. Celebrations for the end-of-program seasons brought Familia y Mundo students and families to the Storyteller Theatre for a special afternoon showing, bowling, and a visit to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. Combined with their community service at the gardens of Not Forgotten Veterans Center and plenty of hiking to explore petroglyphs and new vistas, our youth were introduced to the area resources and opportunities.
Our new clinical director Karen House returned to NVW after a three-year absence in September, and she is leading the planning process for the Residential Treatment Program and new veterans’ offerings. We have emphasized the veterans’ services in our new ad at the Storyteller Theatre and on our website. Descriptions of staff skills and all of our program offerings are shown in detail on our website: www.nonviolenceworks.us.
We look forward to an exciting year in 2018!
Nonviolence Words has the largest behavioral health staff in Northern New Mexico and can be access at 575-758-4297 or www.nonviolenceworks.us. Our offices are located at 1137 suite E Gusdorf Road in Taos.
Mary McPhail Gray is the board chair of NVW and can be reached at 575-779-3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org 1.18.18