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Mon, Jul 15


Virtual Event

Harnessing Nature for Healing

This Lunch & Learn for mental health professionals will feature three presentations that collectively emphasize the transformative potential of incorporating nature into educational and therapeutic practices to foster mental well-being, professional development, and holistic growth.

Harnessing Nature for Healing
Harnessing Nature for Healing

Time & Location

Jul 15, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Virtual Event

About the Event

Harnessing Nature for Healing

Self-Development, Minority Mental Health, Gang Intervention, and Nature Schools

12:00 pm to 12:30 pm EST

Topic: Self-Development, Nature & mental health challenges faced by minority students

Presenter: Stacey Lawson, LMSW,MPH

Topic: Deepening Self-Development: A Collaborative Model Incorporating Nature-Based and Peer-Led Learning in Social Work Education for Latiné Undergraduate Youth addresses mental health challenges faced by minority college students through an upper-division social work elective.

This experiential, topic-driven course enhances self-development, personal values, and professional judgment through nature-based and peer-led learning. It focuses on bicultural social workers and Latiné cultures, teaching social work majors through culturally adapted, evidence-based perspectives. The course aims to improve students' understanding of professional behavior and self-care while fostering multicultural perspectives and upholding social justice standards.

12:30 – 1:00 pm EST

Topic: Introducing the Healing Power of Nature to Gang Intervention Specialists

Presenter: Brooke Babcock, MSW, LCSWA

Presentation Topic: Symptoms of secondary traumatic stress and burnout are high among gang intervention specialists. Community-based efforts are needed to support them. This presentation focuses on a collaborative project proposal offering nature-informed stress reduction strategies to reduce burnout and increase awareness of nature-based community spaces for gang intervention specialists.

1:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST

Presentation topic: Children’s Nature Schools: Commonalities & Outcomes

Presenter: Chi-Wei Chang, MSW

Presentation topic: A look into how elements of nature are incorporated into early childhood education, how children fare in these environments, and opportunities to further tie in nature-based learning.

There are common noted outcomes in children attending schools where nature is intentionally a central focus, even while the setup of these nature schools varies widely in founding purpose, educational philosophies, and setup of the school environment in terms of the area of natural and outdoor spaces available and how nature elements are incorporated in the classroom. We will take a look at the different models, the observed differences in accelerated behavioral learning and soft skills as compared to children receiving standard public education, as well as opportunities to further tie in nature-based learning. This research looked primarily into programs and classes for children aged 3-7.

Stacey Lawson is the Program Director for the Department of Social Work at Whittier College and a

doctoral candidate in Social Work at California Baptist University. She holds an MSW from California

State University, Los Angeles, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with specialized training in Nature-

Informed Therapy. Lawson focuses on mental health prevention and treatment in higher education,

addressing stigmas and inequalities affecting Latiné minority students. Passionate about fostering

mental well-being on college campuses, her doctoral research drives advocacy and educational

initiatives to enhance mental health awareness in academic settings.

Brooke Babcock is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate who earned her MSW from the

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2020. She has experience working with children,

adolescents, adults, families, and groups in various settings. Brooke aims to create a safe, empowering

space for clients to achieve their goals through a holistic, experiential, and person-centered approach.

She focuses on building clients' strengths and values, fostering creativity, voice, and healing. Passionate

about environmental justice, Brooke supports building connections with the natural world. In her free

time, she enjoys working with textiles and spending time in nature.oke Babcock, MSW, LCSWA

Chi-Wei started off working in international relations, which led her to the world of languages and

breaking down cross-cultural communication barriers through teaching, then building localization

programs at SaaS companies Opower (acquired by Oracle), Elastic, and Asana. Her work included

creating strategy for international content prioritization, product and design adaptation, and

spearheading qualitative behavioral research for international markets. She has been based in the US,

Japan, The Netherlands, and Ireland.  Now Chi-Wei is starting a new chapter to focus on human to nature communication and embracing her

love of the outdoors.


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