The FSU Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families, and Children teamed up with the FSU College of Social Work and the National Association of Social Workers, Florida Chapter to launch the Nourish to Flourish Project. This project was created to provide recognition, appreciation, and support to the social work profession.

Each of the Nourish to Flourish Project’s video verbalizes gratitude for social workers and their expertise while also addressing self-care and the importance of self-compassion. The project’s ten videos address social worker self-care, including learning to identify when self-care is needed and several types of self-care to engage in throughout the social work profession and community.

Social workers can use the worksheet template to follow along during the five-week project

while also creating their personal self-care plan. Click here for the worksheet.

Celebrations for the spring graduating Class of 2020 went digital due to the social
distancing practices necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic. Florida State University
gathered virtually on May 2 for a
virtual commencement ceremony presided over by
FSU President John Thrasher. 

“The Class of 2020 will go down in history as the one that sacrificed so many of our cherished
traditions so that we may all be safer,” Thrasher said during the ceremony. “I hope you will look
back upon this day with pride, knowing that you played a vital role in our response and eventual recovery.”  

Florida State awarded degrees to 6,957 graduates this semester: 5,634 bachelor’s degrees, 1,127
master’s degrees and 196 doctorates. Each college created its own virtual celebration for its students.
​The College of Social Work created this special video to celebrate its #FSUCSW Class of 2020:

Reducing COVID-19 Risks for Individuals who Smoke and Vape 

The news if full of information about continued threats from the Coronavirus including risk factors which increase vulnerability to the virus. Smokers and people who vape are at a higher risk due to the fact that the virus attacks the lungs. There are well documented health consequences from smoking and vaping, particularly major health problems to the respiratory system. The smoke that is being inhaled into a smokers’ lungs contains toxins and known carcinogens which damage the cells in the body that help fight off infections. These damaged cells no longer can work at full capacity thus increasing the risk of infection. [1] The two lung conditions mostly related to vaping are cytotoxicity and popcorn lung, which is linked to the flavoring compounds, and of course the EVALI (E-cigarette, or vaping product use associated lung injury) that leads to severe breathing problems, lung injury and death.  The CDC website has more information about EVALI.

About 70% of tobacco users with mental illnesses and substance use disorders want to quit (the same percentage as the general population). And with all of the information in the news about the increase risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus among smokers and vapers, we are seeing an increased interest in quitting. Mental health and addiction counselors are in a unique position to refer their clients to free Tobacco Free Florida cessation services. Although treatment for Tobacco Use Disorder is the most cost-effective and morbidity-reducing of 30 preventive services, it is often overlooked in mental health and addictions treatment. In addition to improvements in physical health, quitting leads to improvements in depression, anxiety, and overall psychological quality of life. [2]

There are many options to help people quit. Tobacco Free Florida offers on-line classes, telephone coaching and self-help tools. The on-line classes are provided by a statewide network of Area Health Education Centers (AHEC). These free classes are listed for every area in Florida at Classes also provide free Nicotine replacement Therapy (NRT) medications (based on what is medically appropriate). Even though classes are on-line, they still have same content and instructors as in person. People will still have the tools to interact with others who are on the same journey. They are also able to invite friends and family to join the sessions.  This will help them get the support needed to be a successful quitter. There are two different paths clients can take to quit. The “Quit Smoking Now” class has four weekly sessions while “Tools To Quit” is a one-time class.

Quitting tobacco is a major component of overall health and wellness, and all clinicians and Recovery Peer Specialists have the skills and experience to help clients address this neglected addiction. Even if a person does not immediately embrace quitting, receiving a recommendation from a trusted health professional or peer specialist significantly improves willingness to give quitting another try.[3]

[1] NIDA. COVID-19:
Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders. 2020, April 6.

[2] BMJ 2014;348:g2216

[3] Fiore MC, Baker TB.
Clinical practice. Treating smokers in the health care setting
. N Engl J Med. 2011 Sep 29;365(13):1222-31. doi: 10.1056/NEJMcp1101512. Review.

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(Updated 5/14/20)

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