A weekly podcast exploring stories at the intersection of faith and culture through an inclusive Christian lens. This week Mitch and Autumn talk about what an increased minimum wage could do for the US. Later, Dr. Tony Talbert and Dr. Helen Harris, professors at Baylor University, join the show to talk about their work with the LGBTQ+ student organization, Gamma Alpha Upsilon. The faculty senate passed a resolution in support of the group's charter - another step closer to their goal of being an official student organization.
Because of the sensitivity and confidentiality of the people and location, this piece has been generalized to keep those involved safe and to challenge congregations of all sizes not to underestimate what they can do. “We sometimes underestimate the influence of the little things.”—Charles W. Chesnutt I am the kind of person that must be doing something “big” in order to think change will occur. However, I was challenged by the above quote from Chesnutt. I was blessed recently to witness a church do something that in most eyes would seem small, insignificant and ordinary. Last week, I observed a small community church rally around one of their members, do the “little things” and, through them, advocate for this individual while also instilling a sense of hope.
Why it is so hard for some people of faith to own their own discomfort? To own their own fears and see how they injure others? These are salient questions when it comes to creating caring Christian community for the LGBTQIA+ community. It is an even more relevant question for the leadership of my own university. In the Bible, there are multiple references to people being known by their fruit and people’s actions being judged by their consequences. Jesus’ fruit analogy seems to be one of the most useful lenses through which we can examine our words and actions. And it should help us provide clarity for any conversation about how we offer support to the LGBTQIA+ community. People who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community do not harm or injure others in any way because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The history of the Christian church includes many examples of addressing who belongs and who does not belong, starting at the very beginning. Despite how clear Jesus was that women belonged, that Samaritans belonged and that lepers belonged, the early church struggled with whether or not Jesus came for the Gentiles as well as the Jews. That seems obvious to us now (as most reading this are likely Gentiles, not Jews), but it was a matter of contention until both Peter and Paul understood God’s inclusion of all and spoke up and spoke out. Phillip’s encounter with the Ethiopian Eunuch gave a concrete answer to the question, “Is there anything preventing me from being baptized?” The answer, to someone barred from entering the sanctuary because of sexual difference, resounds through the years but often not through the church. As a member of Protestant, often Baptist, congregations through the years, I have participated in the use of the words “Brother” and “Sister” to refer to other Christians. If we are truly family, what does it mean when we cut off our siblings? When we make them hide or leave the family because they are different and unwelcome?
It didn’t take long for me to learn that what made me different was not always seen as beautiful by the world that existed outside the four walls that I was raised in. My story is from a third generation Chinese American lens, who was raised in the Midwest and attended school in the south — please know this writing doesn’t encompass or represent all Asian American stories.
“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed” (NIV, Psalm 103:6). “God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet” (The Message, Psalm 103:6). Christian Scriptures give great hope for the oppressed and victims of oppression. No matter which translation of the Bible we read, it is clear in Psalm 103:6 that God knows about the oppression and the resulting victimization. The Bible is full of admonitions to followers of the way of Jesus about our actions toward the oppressed and victimized. We are to treat all people with love, dignity, honor and justice, because we all are made in the image of God. Our actions should flow naturally from a heart filled with God’s love. Learning to see people as God would have us see them, with loving actions toward and on behalf of all people, comes with a commitment to do this hard work with the Lord. That commitment, I have discovered, is a life-long journey.
The Faith & Mental Wellness Podcast with Brittney Moses Share 045: How Faith & Therapy Integrate In Mental Health Treatments 2/8/2021 Season 2, Ep. 40 Should Christians only see a Christian therapist? How can faith and therapy integrate into mental health treatments? And what does the data show about the benefits of including one's faith in therapy? We're diving into all these things and more with my friend Dr. Holly Oxhandler. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it! Dr. Holly Oxhandler is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Associate Professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Holly studies religion/spirituality, health and mental health, and is especially interested in whether and how mental and behavioral health therapists discuss their client’s religious/spiritual beliefs in treatment. She developed and validated the Religious/Spiritually Integrated Practice Assessment Scale in addition to other instruments to measure the integration of clients’ religion/spirituality in mental health treatment, has written for numerous academic journals, and her research has been featured in the Washington Post, Consumer Affairs, Religion News Service, and more. She also co-hosts the weekly podcast, CXMH: Christianity & Mental Health and lives in Waco, TX with her family.
The white church in America is learning racism is not merely about our individual actions and decisions. As a civil human being—more so as a child of God—we know better than to be racist, than to do racist things. In fact, in our effort not to be racists, we work hard to talk as though race doesn’t exist. Being colorblind was the way to be nonracist, we were taught. I suppose it meant if we didn’t see race, we couldn’t perpetuate it or contribute to racism.
The work of identifying racist attitudes and behaviors is not only uncomfortable, but also never-ending, said Kerri Fisher, a lecturer and diversity educator at Baylor University. Recognizing white privilege and oppressive social systems isn’t enough to sustain “cultural humility,” said Fisher, co-chair of the Race Equity Work Team in Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. “There are always new ways to be unjust, so we have to always be learning,” she said. “Cultural humility” describes an ability to critically self-reflect on the existence of cultural differences and impacts on marginalized groups with the goal being to build relationships with those groups, she explained.
One point that often gets lost in the academic debate of teaching versus research is that research, at its best, is teaching. Baylor’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award — presented each year by Baylor Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) — aims to recognize those who exemplify that by mentoring undergraduate students in a research setting. This year’s honorees? Dr. Stephanie Boddie from the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, and Dr. Lorin S. Matthews (BS ’94, PhD ’98) from the Department of Physics.
Through the expansion medical care and technological advances, the lifespan of older adult women has progressively increased. According to the National Vital Statistics Reports of the U.S., in the year 2017, the national average of female life expectancy is the age of 81. Compared to the 1920s, female life expectancy was the age of 54. Older adult women are living longer and are experiencing the world through many significant changes throughout the lifespan. They experience milestones of struggles, hardships, love, and laughter throughout their lifetime that is monumental to their well-being.
I was born, raised and now live in El Paso. El Paso is a great place to live if you like to run, and I do. My runs regularly take me up to a place where I can see all three cities and states that adjoin each other here. A few weeks ago, while on a morning run on my usual route, I noticed two things at a distance I hadn’t realized could be seen from my vantage point. To the left of my viewpoint was a thick black line in stark contrast to the natural colors of the desert landscape. This is a part of the border wall funded by private donations. Directly across and above this wall is Mount Cristo Rey, which sits on both sides of the international border between the United States and Mexico. The mountain is named for the statue of Christ located at the top of the mountain. The figure of Christ stands in front of a giant cross. His eyes gaze out over the borderland, and his arms are outstretched with his palms facing outward over three cities and two nations. As I thought about this picture—a manmade barrier created to keep people out directly across from a statue of Jesus on Mount Cristo Rey—Christ’s words came to my mind: “For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in. … Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matthew 25:42-43, 45).
Amidst the busyness of life, it can be hard to take time for yourself, let alone get the care you need. In this interview, Holly Oxhandler provides insight on the importance of self-care and the best ways to cultivate it for yourself and others during any season. Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D., LMSW is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Associate Professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Dr. Oxhandler has studied the intersection of faith and mental health over the last decade and is particularly interested in the degree to which mental health care providers discuss and integrate clients’ religion/spirituality in mental health treatment. She’s also the co-host of CXMH, a weekly podcast on the intersection of faith and mental health, and is currently writing her first book to translate her research on this intersection for everyday helpers.
As we wait for healing and solutions to the distress of the coronavirus pandemic, we seek revival like the people of God sought during the time of the prophets. We desperately search for stories of God working, despite the little we have or the sickness we are trying to understand. How is the church responding? How should the church respond? Who are the prophets of our time, and how are they responding to the call of God? Congregations around the country are seeking to answer these questions in new and unique ways. In Waco, as elsewhere, many institutions have responded to COVID-19, seeking fresh ways to love their neighbor like Christ would have us do.
Mark Wingfield makes a compelling case that “You cannot follow Jesus and endorse racism.” However, he may have placed the “Period” of his title a little too soon. I do believe the biggest problem in perpetuating racism is the “virulent white supremacist views” of people of faith, but I believe that virus is far more widespread than most of us white progressive Christians care to admit.
No matter your relationship to higher education, there’s a good chance you’re aware of the importance of professors getting published. To be published means a professor’s research appears in a peer-reviewed academic journal, having been approved by a group of peer editors and then distributed to a wider academic audience — thus contributing to the body of knowledge within their field.
Lt. Col. Liquori L. Etheridge isn't a man of few words but, after winning the Army's Social Worker of the Year for 2020, he was left speechless. Etheridge, who works in the Department of Social Work at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, was named the Army's Social Worker of the Year for 2020. Etheridge has ten years of active duty service and has been a licensed clinical social worker for 11 years.
Congratulations are in order! Baylor has named Dr. Stephanie Boddie as Faculty Mentor of the Year for her research and mentor work with students Kathryn Hong, Ana O'Quin and Chrissy Sessa!
Ann speaks with Dr. Dennis Meyer, Professor, The Danny and Lenn Prince Endowed Professor for the Residential Care of Older Adults at Baylor University, and Inez Russell, Executive Director at Friends for Life Texas.
Some see addiction as a disease that stems from biological factors. Others see it as a moral failing that stems from the choice to sin against God. Addiction, however, is formed through various influences in a person’s life, including biological, psychological, spiritual and social factors. Paul’s self-description in Romans 7 fits addiction very well. He did not understand what he did. He did what he did not want to do, even doing the very thing he hated. Paul wrote: “For I know that nothing good lives within the flesh of my fallen humanity. The longings to do what is right are within me, but willpower is not enough to accomplish it” (Romans 7:18, The Passion Translation).
WACO, Texas (Oct. 27, 2020) – October marks the halfway point to the fall semester and can carry all the excitement, stress and anxiety of another academic term winding to a close. The month also typically marks one of the busiest times of the year for university counseling centers across the nation. With unique challenges in 2020 related to COVID-19, the University has acknowledged those hardships for all in the Baylor Family by taking the initiative to focus on mental health throughout October. Baylor University’s Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D., LMSW, associate dean for research and faculty development and associate professor in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, is an expert on mental health, primarily anxiety and depression, as well as religion and spirituality in clinical practice.
I was the pompous Christian college student who spent time with friends memorizing Scripture, even if I didn’t truly live them. It was misplaced rigor, misguided piety and an out-of-focus faith. I could spit these passages out and talk about the virtue of humility, but practicing humility was not my strength. My whole Christian fraternity and I memorized Philippians 2:3-8, but I missed the point. I had plenty of selfish ambition and was truly blind to what this passage meant. Furthermore, my selfish ambition and vain conceit was tied up in my views of race. Born in Vidor, Texas, a well-known sundown town, I was influenced by white supremacy in the earliest years of my life. My white racial identity was a standard by which I compared myself to others and the norm against which others were seen as different or less than. Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3
Ruth was elderly, a widow, very hungry and giving $1,000 checks to anyone who came to her door if they would just bring her something to eat. Most took the money, but didn’t bring back any food. She gave her car away to someone who promised to bring her food. She was about to sign her house away when Adult Protective Services got involved. The court appointed a guardian for her who ensured she was never hungry again.
[Episode 128] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is a conversation with Dr. Holly Oxhandler. Dr. Jonathan Singer speaks with Holly about the definitions of religion and spirituality, similarities and differences in religious and spiritual affiliation between social work professionals and their clients, how to address religion and spirituality in practice, and her experience as the co-host of the CXMH podcast.
In November 2017, Kristen Tekell Boyd stands in the pulpit of Truett Seminary’s chapel in Waco, Texas, and preaches, taking Ezekiel chapter 37 as her text. As she describes the valley with the prophet Ezekiel coming upon the dry bones, she reads a key question from the Scripture: “Can these bones live?” This question might have been asked 20 years before when Carver School of Church Social Work closed in 1997, an event that seemed like a death to many of its alumni.
As individuals and institutions across the country consider necessary changes to effectively fight racism, two terms are gaining familiarity: cultural humility and antiracism. Kerri Fisher, LCSW, an expert in cultural humility training and lecturer in Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, defines those terms and shares five tips to help people cultivate cultural humility and antiracism in their personal and corporate lives. “We are all impacted by the supremacist cultures that socialize us,” Fisher said, “so while we are not responsible for our first thought, we are responsible for our second thought and our first action. This means we must be brave enough to admit when our brain, body and behaviors are exhibiting racist reactions.”
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory (Psalm 63:2 NIV). Nature calms me and reminds me in times of doubt and feeling disconnected from God that the Creator truly is. I find assurance in the creativity of each leaf, tumbling stream, dipping valley, rolling wave, bird song and even the blade of grass surviving against all odds in the crack of the sidewalk. The minute details of nature act like a balm to my weary soul. They remind me with a fierceness something has been here creating and is still here creating. Remembering this brings me to God’s sanctuary. Sanctuary is a word too often equated with a building. It actually means “refuge” or safety.” It means God’s very presence. Read the full article here.
The uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 public health crisis has placed added focus on mental health. Dr. Holly Oxhandler, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and Assistant Professor in Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, is a recognized expert on the intersection of faith and mental health. In this Baylor Connections, she shares how individuals can prioritize their own mental wellbeing through both immediate and long-term practices, and discusses the role of an individual’s faith in their mental health.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Kevin Pranoto. Thanks for sharing your story with us Kevin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there. I grew up in Houston, Texas, in the most diverse county in America. Growing up, I was most fascinated by my Social Studies classes, especially when we discussed the sections on human and civil rights movements. For college, I attended Baylor University, where I received my Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences and was pre-med. The sciences was not a fulfilling track for me, and I quickly found out that I was meant to do something different. Shortly after working at MD Anderson Cancer Center as a nutritionist, I switched tracks and went back to Baylor to attend graduate school, where I received a Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Social Work (MSW). My first MSW internship was working with homeless and unaccompanied youth in the Waco Independent School District. I primarily worked with high school students, many of whom had been kicked out of the house and were living in foster care or in group homes. Read the full article here.
Recently, I had the privilege of hearing from our Black social work students in a Listening Session hosted by our departmental administration. The students were vulnerable and raw and brave. They expressed exhaustion and hope and disappointment. They pointed out ways in which the Garland School of Social Work could be better, Baylor could be better, and our curriculum could be more inclusive and supportive. Many of our Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color have likely felt this for many years, but they finally had the collective voice and platform to express this hurt. I am thankful for them and to them. I will be honest, some of it was hard to hear. My thoughts raced, and I found myself internally defending a program I have worked hard to help develop, a program that I attended as a student. I was uncomfortable. I was sad, and I was even more saddened when I realized I was making it all about me. You see, my discomfort is one small insight into the discomfort I imagine that BIPOC feel in so many spaces. And, I also realized it is time for me (as a White person) to also be uncomfortable. Racial justice work takes deep inner work. As Ronda V. Magee writes in her recent book, The Inner Work of Racial Justice, “Racial literacy requires emotional awareness. If you are like most people, you will feel strong emotions in reaction to what others share about race and – you will also feel emotional when you reflect deeply on your own experiences.” This means that I have to sit with the discomfort I feel and examine the places I have been the perpetrator of racism and privileged by racist structures. All of this introspection requires a willingness to dig into the discomfort, to be wrong, to apologize, to make reparations and to try again. Read full article here.
Laine Scales at Baylor University believes the history of a school that ceased to exist 23 years ago is worth telling because of what it reveals about changing Southern Baptist attitudes toward gender roles and social ministries. Laine Scales Scales, a professor in Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, and co-author Melody Maxwell, associate professor of church history at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada, wrote Doing the Word: Southern Baptists’ Carver School of Social Work and Its Predecessors, 1907-1997. Scales and Maxwell trace the history of the school through its various iterations—the Woman’s Missionary Union Training School for Christian Workers, the Carver School of Missions and Social Work and finally the Carver School of Church Social Work at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In spite of “twists and turns” along the way, Scales sees one constant: “It’s never a predictable or boring story.” Read the full article here.
The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship has awarded Baylor University’s Dr. Stephanie Boddie a grant of nearly $18,000 to support ethnographic study of ways to create worship practices that integrate traditional theology, Negro Spirituals, storytelling and social history. Amid increasing racial tensions and a decline in church attendance by millennials, Boddie’s research project focuses on establishing worship practices that help African American churches reconnect spirituality with the social justice legacy of the African American Church. The research will also examine how corporate worship practices, coupled with individual spirituality, creates transformative church experiences and communities.
When someone like me—a community practice social worker—begins work with a new group, organization or community, I ask questions like: “What is the lived experience for this group or community? What systems are impacting them? What systems are they impacting? What are the strengths of this group or community? Who do we need to listen to? What resources already are available to serve this group or community best?” As states re-open and congregations create their plans in response to COVID-19 for returning to corporate gatherings, the questions at hand may look very similar for church leaders: “How do we move forward? What do we need to consider or listen to? Who needs our care? How will our worship, fellowship and service look different going forward? What resources already exist in our community?”
According to study after study, college students suffer food insecurity at alarming rates. Many face the reality of having no idea where their next meal will come from. Houston MSW student Joyelle Gaines hopes, however, to make this a thing of the past with a new venture called the Joy Store. The Joy Store is a student food pantry that opened this semester on our Houston Campus thanks to Joyelle’s advocacy, and she hopes it will help students just like her.
WACO, Texas (May 5, 2020) – Twelve Baylor University professors have been honored with Outstanding Faculty Awards for teaching, scholarship and contributions to the academic community for the 2019-2020 academic year. The Outstanding Faculty Awards recognize the best all-around professors – including non-tenure track, tenured and tenure-track faculty – based on teaching capabilities, research achievement, time spent with students and church and community service.
The past two weeks have been a whirlwind to say the least, shaking us to the very core, evoking mixed emotions from deep within namely: sorrow, grief, anger, frustration, fear, worry, depression, anxiety, confusion, tranquility, calmness, empathy, love, and gratitude. Everyday activities have come to a standstill as we are forced to stay at home; in a flash, life has turned upside down with death and destruction of people’s livelihood across a large number of nations. Suddenly, we are faced with a stressor called uncertainty, the fear of the unknown not just to us as individuals, but to us as citizens of this world. This monumental problem of COVID-19 has forced us into a crisis-mode, with great devastation caused by something only visible under the microscope; coming to us like a thief in the night confronting our very existence.
With continued social distancing and shelter-in-place mandates in the wake of COVID-19, mental health is at the forefront of the national discussion. Dr. Helen Harris, a professor in the School of Social Work at Baylor, urges students to remember that although we may be physically distant from one another, we do not have to be emotionally distant – a common misconception surrounding the term ‘social distancing.’ “It’s really important to connect with other people who matter to us and to whom we matter,” Harris said.
In the evolving dynamic of COVID-19, we have witnessed our world turn upside-down. The normal routines of life, work and play look completely different than they did a few weeks ago. As followers of Christ, our way of worship and of gathering together in a sanctuary space has shifted. As businesses close down and events get cancelled left and right, congregations are doing their best to press forward. They are restructuring their way of fellowship, teaching and outreach. While our congregations may be closing their doors physically, I am deeply moved by how they are opening their hearts, arms and minds to new ways to reach their members and their neighbors.
Grief can present itself in a number of different ways. It can manifest as anxiety or depression, or even depression and anxiety at the same time. We may notice changes in our own behavior we can’t explain, or maybe changes we don’t notice, but others do. That’s all the more reason to be patient with our loved ones, friends, strangers, and perhaps most importantly, ourselves. The first step to approach and manage the condition of grief is to recognize and claim our feelings about what we’re experiencing. A lot of people aren’t accustomed to this, or it may make them uncomfortable, but almost the whole world is experiencing a collective grief right now, and if we can name and claim these feelings we’re having and talk about them with each other, we can begin to cope. Once we’ve identified it, how do we process and cope with grief?
Baylor’s focus on offering a distinctly Christian educational environment includes cultivating thought leaders who can help congregations answer the call of societal challenges. Dr. Stephanie Boddie, an assistant professor of church and community ministries at Baylor, is one of those leading the way. Boddie is known nationally for her research on congregation-based social services and trends in faith-based initiatives. Over the years, much of that research has been through the lens of the black church, with a focus on the social and entrepreneurial approaches these institutions have used to address disparities in wealth, health and food insecurity in their communities.
Maundy Thursday didn’t come naturally to me. Growing up Southern Baptist, we didn’t celebrate Holy Week, or much of anything from the church calendar, except for Christmas and Easter. In seminary, I remember being asked how you get to Easter if you don’t recognize Good Friday or Maundy Thursday. More Baptist churches practice these now, more than ever before. In my church, Maundy Thursday is what I refer to as the foot-washing service. It’s my least favorite church meeting of the year! The celebration of Passover and the Last Supper are part of it too, but I can’t get past the dirty feet (you can start praying for me now). This year, Holy Week services in our churches are particularly complicated, but pastors are being particularly creative. Maundy Thursday included—it’s hard to wash feet while #socialdistancing, don’t you know.
Can you experience grounded, present, awareness? So much is changing around us. How are you handling it? Higher education has been in flux for many years with financial and technological upheavals changing so much of what we as faculty and staff understand about ourselves in our institutions of teaching and learning. To this, the crisis of Coronavirus is completely overwhelming. Financial burdens are even more significant. Our dependence on technology is all-encompassing. Students struggle with the anxiety of it all and we are hardly prepared to respond given our own anxieties. Anxiety, however, is exactly what we are supposed to feel in a situation like this. It is absolutely to be expected that we experience fear, uncertainty, and doubts about all that is happening around us, and to us. We cannot do anything to control it. We cannot make sense of it intellectually. Our feelings seem to overwhelm us. We can all expect to experience anxiety in a situation like this. Click the headline above to read the full story.
From business closures to high levels of unemployment, the impact of the coronavirus is wide ranging. So how do you talk to friends that have been affected? Dr. Helen Harris with Baylor University's School of Social Work has some tips. Read the full article here.
Humility, curiosity and leadership. These three characteristics have been used to describe senior Colorado Springs native and 2020 Garland School of Social Work (GSSW) BSW Outstanding Student recipient Megan (Meg) Peck. Though she didn’t know what social work was at the beginning of her freshman year, this posture of open-mindedness is perhaps what led Peck to listen to the many voices repeatedly telling her it would be a good fit.
These are disorienting times. Due to COVID-19, our professional, relational and recreational routines as American Christians have been disrupted by quarantines and social distancing. In our typically fast-paced world, it feels strange when things suddenly come to a halt. But what if God is using our disorientation for reorientation? What if, amid the coronavirus pandemic that now envelops us, we can rediscover the importance of Sabbath?
WACO, Texas (March 26, 2020) – For the week ending March 21, a record 3.28 million workers applied for unemployment benefits, a result of the sweeping economic consequences of COVID-19, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor. In the proverbial “blink of an eye,” many find their neighbors, friends, family – and even themselves – out of jobs that only a few weeks ago seemed safe and secure. The jobless are grieving. What’s our role? How do we help? How do we engage?
On Sunday I watched the news – until I couldn’t watch it any longer. I doubt I learned anything new during those three hours. I confess that I’ve never been much of a Sabbath observer, but I can say with confidence that there was nothing about Sunday that felt like a day of rest (except sleeping in and tuning into our church’s online worship service while still in my pajamas). On Sunday I needed rest. I sat around all day, but it wasn’t rest. A big chunk of the day was spent consuming news that wasn’t new, except for the God-awful, rising number of COVID-19 cases and casualties, which only further prevented any sense of rest. Watching the news only fed fear and anxiety, doubt and disbelief. Read the full story here.
WACO, Texas (March 25, 2020) – In a difficult and ever-changing time of crisis surrounding the spread of coronavirus, the basic needs of health and safety come first. But as these basic physiological needs are met, the more advanced care for spiritual and mental health can remain overlooked or ignored altogether. Baylor University’s Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D., LMSW., associate dean for research and faculty development and assistant professor the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, is an expert on mental health, primarily anxiety and depression, as well as religion and spirituality in clinical practice.
WACO, Texas (March 17, 2020) – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease are at a high risk for the coronavirus. The virus hit hard in late January at a nursing facility in the state of Washington, where a number of residents died. As a result, the CDC has recommended strong restrictions on visitors to long-term care facilities, and the health organization continues to preach limited physical contact and “social distancing” – creating intentional space of six feet or more between each person – to stem the spread of the virus.
I’ve always considered myself an “outgoing introvert,” meaning I like people but prefer to be alone. It’s almost a week into social distancing, and I’m already starting to question if I’m actually a full-blown extrovert. I find myself craving human interaction, and my house is feeling a little smaller than normal. My ongoing inner refrain has become, “This is what caring for your neighbor looks like,” and I’ve worked it into mindfulness exercises during these last few days.