Clinical Social Work
Welcome to the Clinical Social Work Department at the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute! We are a dynamic group of mental health professionals with training in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of severe mental illness. Clinical social workers are skilled in helping with problems of living and facilitating personal growth and development. Our social workers are all Master’s level graduates of accredited schools of Social Work across the United States. We coordinate with George Mason University for MSW internship/field placement opportunities. The Clinical Social Work Department promotes Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in which clinical social workers combine well-researched interventions with clinical experience and ethics, and individual preferences and culture to guide and inform the delivery of core treatments and services to promote timely discharge planning. The Clinical Social Workers at NVMHI help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, loss, unemployment, educational problems, disability, and the impact of these situational stressors in collaboration with mental illness.
Clinical Social Workers
- Develop, implement and maintain individualized treatment plans for clients, serve as members of interdisciplinary teams and provide linkages with families/significant others and community agencies
- Assess the psychosocial needs of the patients and their support system, and, based on the assessments, provide treatment which facilitates the discharge of patients at their highest level of functioning in order that patients effectively adapt within their family and community
- Provide social work services to support the recovery of individuals with serious mental illness
MissionThe Clinical Social Work Department supports the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute's mission by providing social work services to support the recovery of individuals with serious mental illness.
VisionThrough partnership with other Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute departments, our consumers, their families, and community service providers, the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute Clinical Social Work Department will become an exemplary department for those who need and those who provide our services.
ValuesIndividual Centered Quality Services........Teamwork.......Respect
Active Treatment Group therapy has many advantages. Group members often develop a common bond and affirm one another’s feelings. Group members no longer feel isolated and alone. They feel supported by others who share similar experiences.
- Something of Substance, Substance Abuse Recovery
- Cooperation, Communication, and Creativity
- DBT Skill Building/Coping with Life
- Women’s Issues
- Grief/Loss Issues
- Things that really matter
- WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning)
- Habits for Success
- Coping with Stress/Relaxation Techniques
- Discharge Issues
- Treatment and Support
- Trauma Informed Care groups
- Cultural Awareness and impact of Cultural and Linguistic Competence in treatment
- Multi-family Support Group the 1st and 3rd Wednesday 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Please see a current group schedule. Other groups may be introduced if a topic is suggested by patients or referring physicians/other caregivers and a significant need is evident.
Other Social Work Interventions
- Supportive counseling and family meetings
- Participating in best practice clinical services development to ensure continuity of care regarding discharge planning
- Outreach regarding community reintegration (i.e. Social security, Medicare Part D enrollment, Work Adjustment Training, arrange participation at LMEC (Laurie Mitchell Employment Center), and other services that support a successful transition to the community
- Working with the RCSC (Regional Community Support Center) partnering with the Regional Peer Bridger Specialist to provide a smooth transition and bridge individuals back into the community
- Collaborating continuity of care with the five community service boards (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William County.
- Consultants to private hospitals regarding individual care, and social supports in the community.
Clinical Social Work Department(703) 207-7100
Director of Clinical Social WorkMelissa M. Preston LCSW
Executive SecretaryPeggy Pavone
Clinical Social Work StaffNaomi Bartakke, MSW, LCSW
Amber Bugaiski, MSW
Donque Cochran, MSW
Yvonne Copeland, MSW, LCSW
Jennifer Greene, MSW
Kathleen Luisa, MSW, LCSW, CSAC
Megan McMillan, MSW, LGSW
Wendy Miessler, MSW, LCSW
Shayna Sargent, MSW
Kimberly Spirito, MSW
Tenne Wordsworth, MSW