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Miami Dade County: School Mental Health. School Safety. Human Trafficking.

The Miami-Dade Unit coordinated a successful panel to discuss school safety and mental health in Miami-Dade County.

The caliber of panelists present at the event was representative of key stakeholders in our schools. Elected officials, Law enforcement, Child welfare professionals, Faith leaders and Social services providers. 


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​​​​Upcoming Events

There are no local events planned at this time.  Please visit the Events page for other opportunities.

6 Strategies to Enhance Your Daily Happiness

by Paty Hernandez (Miami-Dade Unit)

Finding happiness during difficult times can be as though you’re trying to catch a butterfly in a glass jar. You’re running around begging (stress) for it to land in your jar so you can show everyone what you caught. Once you do trap the butterfly, soon that happy feeling floats away as you see the reality of the butterfly as it tries to escape its trap.

Happiness is a feeling we all wish to experience more of, yet sometimes we believe we don’t hold onto it long enough. Just when you capture joy, it appears to float away just as quickly as other feelings such as frustration, anger, sadness, annoyance, etc. burst in like a younger sibling who steals your jar with the beautiful butterfly in it.

Truth is happiness, just like any other feeling needs just as much energy as other thoughts to expand. For example, when you’re happy, stay with that moment by being grateful for it and fighting off any other intrusive thoughts. Do more of what brings you happiness rather than being distracted by useless thoughts that’ll only bring you down.

I’d like to share 6 of my favorite ways to experience happiness daily and keep dopamine, the happy hormone flowing with ease. Happiness does take work and practice, which is so worth it. Of course you can share these tips with your clients and others around you.

6 Tips for Happiness Everyday

1. Do more activities that bring you happiness. If you struggle with this, then I suggest creating a happy list by writing down at least 20 things that bring you happiness. Then post it where you can see it and commit to doing at least 1 joyful activity each day.

2. Savor each moment through gratitude. When you state what you’re grateful for every moment, you’re filling up with an overall feeling of tranquility and inner peace every time. If you don’t have one already, then I suggest you purchase or create a gratitude journal and spend 5 minutes a day writing what you’re grateful for.

3. Practice random acts of kindness. Being kind to others shifts your attention from you and onto others by being kind. It can be as simple as a smile, opening a door, leaving a little extra tip, volunteering, picking up trash on the street, etc.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone is on their own path of self-discovery towards living a purposeful life. It’s easy to see the side of the person you’re comparing yourself to what they want to show, yet behind closed doors, their life is even more miserable. They’re choosing to show happiness rather than despair regardless of what’s going on. Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, ask yourself what you can do to show up and demonstrate more of the attributes you see in others.

5. Take care of your body. Daily practice of hygiene, eating healthy foods, physical movement, and positive affirmations really does a body good. Plus, you feel amazing each time you drink a nutritious smoothie for a more extended amount of time rather than a sweet-tasting donut riddle with guilt that your body will growl at you in a few minutes.

6. Strengthen your spiritual connection. Religion is one way of being spiritual, yet you don’t have to be part of a religious community to be spiritual. From spending time outdoors, reading an inspirational book, listening to spiritual teachers, talking to the energy around you, practicing Reiki, or another spiritual practice connects you to an inner light that grows more each day.

We can’t change the world during this uncertain time yet we can change how we react to it. Commit today to experiencing life with more happiness and daily self-care tools. 

PS if you want to strengthen your spiritual connection within a group practice then join us (social workers only) on April 20 for a 21 day group meditation through whatsapp using Deepak Chopra's 21 days of abundance.
Click here.  


Thank you for being apart of your local NASW unit! We have many future events in the planning stages for this upcoming year including CE’s, networking and social events . If you have any questions, comments or feedback, we would love to hear from you. We are excited to be your leadership team!!! ​


Patricia Hernandez, MSW, MPH, CHC - Chair

Cassandra Tenzer, MSW - Vice Chair

Vacant - Secretary
Vacant - Membership Chair
Mark Ritchie, LCSW - Continuing Education (CE) Chair

Susan Mankita, LCSW - Social Work Month Chair
Vacant - Legislative Chair

Ashley Ferguson - PACE Chair
Edith Caballero, LCSW  - CCNLI Chair
Janitsa Rocamonde, MSW - Sponsorship Chair  

Angela Miller, MSW - Social Media Chair
Vacant - Events Chair
Miriam Bernardo - BSW Representative
Ashton Sanchez - MSW Student Representative

If you know of any students who may be interested in becoming our BSW or MSW representatives, please send their names or have them contact us at

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All NASW-FL Miami-Dade Members are invited! 

Do you know a social worker who is not an NASW member? Bring them along and we'll be happy to explain the benefits of joining!

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