Erica Ivey, MSW,LSW

Erica Ivey, MSW,LSW

Mental Health Consultant

Hello! My name is Erica Ivey and I am the Mental Health Consultant that will be working with your child at Carlisle Elementary.  I am originally from San Diego, California but have lived in 6 different states.  I have lived in Ohio for the past 13 years, where I obtained my master’s degree in Social Work from Wright State University.  I have been a licensed social worker since 2017 and have been working in public social services for 9 years. I also currently work as a Mental Health Therapist for Warren County TIP Program, providing individual therapy for children ages 3-5 years old who have experienced recent trauma. Previous to this position, I was the director of YWCA's Dove House Domestic Violence Shelter in Butler County. I have educated many community members about domestic violence in monthly classes and speaking engagements. I have facilitated several group therapies in many Butler County Schools focusing on children who have experienced trauma, and/or who have needed additional support for various mental health and behavioral concerns. I have also served as a leader in the Butler County Anti Human Trafficking Coalition working with Congress towards policy change and implementation of supportive services. I also worked with several Butler County Prosecutors as a Victim Advocate.

 

Group Counseling 

Starting the 2nd quarter of the 2021-2022 academic year the school counselor will be collaborating and working with the new mental health consultant provided by Warren County ESC to address student mental health needs using an evidence-based curriculum in a small group setting. These groups will last 6-8 weeks and will cover the following topics: 

Mindfulness Group Overview

Mindful awareness practices are “exercises that promote a state of heightened and receptive attention to moment-by-moment experiences” (MARC). This simply means focusing on being fully present in the given moment while working to identify and be aware of our own feelings, sensations, and emotions.

Through these practices, children learn how to reflect on what is happening within the context of:

  • Their own bodies (self-awareness, coping skill development)
  • In the environment that surrounds them (social awareness, relationship skills, time management, and organization)
  • Inform how they react or interact with others or alone in various situations (self-management, responsible decision making)

Emerging research shows that the practice of mindfulness can help individuals manage and prevent prolonged stress, respond to anxiety, and respond to an array of emotions to make constructive choices about personal behavior and evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being. Mindfulness and social-emotional learning go hand in hand. By starting from within and leveraging our own unique skills, strengths, and experiences, we can begin to build upon those social-emotional learning skills and craft lifelong, healthy habits.

 

Anxiety & Depression (A&D) Coping Skills Group Overview

Many children have fears and worries and may feel sad and hopeless from time to time. Strong fears may appear at different times during development. Although fears and worries are typical in children, persistent or extreme forms of fear and sadness could be due to anxiety or depression. Anxiety and Depression is a common diagnosis in many individuals.  Some symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Being very afraid when away from parents (separation anxiety)
  • Having extreme fear about a specific thing or situation, such as dogs, insects, or going to the doctor (phobias)
  • Being very afraid of school and other places where there are people (social anxiety)
  • Being very worried about the future and about bad things happening (general anxiety)
  • Having repeated episodes of sudden, unexpected, intense fear that come with symptoms like heart pounding, having trouble breathing, or feeling dizzy, shaky, or sweaty (panic disorder)

Some symptoms of depression are:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable a lot of the time
  • Not wanting to do or enjoy doing fun things
  • Showing changes in eating patterns – eating a lot more or a lot less than usual
  • Showing changes in sleep patterns – sleeping a lot more or a lot less than normal
  • Showing changes in energy – being tired and sluggish or tense and restless a lot of the time
  • Having a hard time paying attention
  • Feeling worthless, useless, or guilty
  • Showing self-injury and self-destructive behavior

These symptoms can often be disruptive to a child’s academic and social experience.  When children struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, they often feel isolated or alone. They feel like others don’t understand them. A & D group gives a chance to help children work through their obstacles with other kids as they occur.  In collaboration, children are able to develop coping skills and assist in build self-confidence, assertiveness and empower kids to sidestep negative peer and societal pressures.