Lifetime Achievement Award: Congratulations to Our Own Mia Elwood!
Fountain Hills resident Mia Elwood, founder and clinical director of Healthy Futures, has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Arizona branch of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
NASW presented Elwood with the honor during its annual awards ceremony March 31, which capped Social Work Month.
Healthy Futures, located in Fountain Hills, and also with a clinical location in Scottsdale, is an outpatient mental health clinic specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. Only a few months ago, the company celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Its treatment specialty is an “Intensive Outpatient Program,” in which patients attend several times per week, engaging in group and individual therapy, healthy exercise and movement classes, meal experiences, and other activities to help them overcome their eating disorders.
“As a social worker, I believe it is important to identify leaders who positively impact the community and advance our field. Mia has dedicated her life to serving others for the past 25 years as an advocate for universal body acceptance, therapist, clinical supervisor and founder and director of Healthy Futures,” Varsha Prasad, a fellow social worker and team member at Healthy Futures said.
“Throughout her career, she has found ways to overcome barriers that have prevented underserved populations from accessing eating disorder treatment. Mia is an exemplary social worker and trailblazer whose accomplishments have and will continue to advance universal body acceptance and eating disorder treatment in Arizona.”
During the nomination process, Prasad sought input from others who have worked with Elwood. Glowing accolades were easy to come by from others in the mental health field. Those contributing included Jessica McCall and Laurie Geraghty of Healthy Futures, as well as Dr. Lisa Galper, a Valley psychologist in private practice.
Elwood said she is humbled by the honor but credits her team’s professionalism and deep care for the success of Healthy Futures. “I am honored to receive this professional social work lifetime achievement award. It is an amazing profession, and I am grateful to be surrounded by such caring professionals with great hearts who nominated me. I only hope to share my excitement for this helping profession with all future social workers and colleagues. Thank you to all of the helpers; the world needs you, especially now.”
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates of any mental illness. It may seem alarming to begin with such a jarring statement, but we feel it’s important in any discussion of eating disorders, to always be clear and aware of their dangers.
Early intervention can be an essential step in helping to avoid an eating disorder. It’s also very important for families to have healthy and positive conversations around food, body and weight that are non-diet based and avoid judgment.
There are several levels of care within eating disorder treatment and recovery. Where treatment begins depends upon the history and severity of the eating disorder, and what treatments have already been tried, if any.