Melinda B. Flynn
Born and raised in south Louisiana, I have been practicing social work since 1994, when I graduated from LSU with a degree in Psychology and Sociology (I also minored in Classical Studies, which I like to believe contributes to my work in some way).
Just after graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I began my social work career by volunteering in an HIV/AIDS service provider agency, fielding calls on a hotline. Enamored with the work of helping people who were both struggling with life-threatening illness and with being a marginalized group – I found employment in another similar agency where I was further inspired to attend social work school to dig deeper into these endeavors.
After graduating from Tulane School of Social Work in 1997, I was introduced to another group of people who had to fight to get the services they needed – our nation’s military veterans. I spent the next 8 years working as a therapist in outpatient mental health serving veterans and their families. While at the VA hospital (now known as the SLVHCS), I worked with male & female veterans from the ages of 18 to 98, with all kinds of presenting concerns. I also worked with other VA mental health partners to develop what would eventually be known as the “Family Program,” in which we actively developed programming to support veterans’ family members.
Meanwhile, after earning my LCSW in 1999, I began working in immigration advocacy, providing evaluations for individuals and families facing the challenge of navigating the often-byzantine Federal immigration system. By doing this work, I have been able to expand my focus to a more global social work perspective, which I hope also informs my local social work practice. To this end, I began teaching at the Tulane School of Social Work, and for six years managed their Global Programs office. In this role, I trained the newest social workers who are ready to focus their own practices on local-global and international social work practice.
Because I wanted to invest in practices that can make a difference quickly for my clients, I received Advanced Level training in the Center for Mind Body Medicine's Mind Body Skills Groups. This highly structured model teaches a concrete set of self-care and coping skills to participants in a small group setting. Since receiving this training, I have been facilitating groups at Bastion Community for veterans, in my private practice, and as an employee wellness offering in businesses, schools, and nonprofits.
Over the years, I have volunteered on boards of local nonprofits; written grants for new programs; and been involved with community working groups addressing issues important to my personal and professional values. Having earned my Board Approved Clinical Supervisor license seven years ago, I also enjoy providing supervision to practicing social workers toward their LCSW license.
I have lived in New Orleans since earning my MSW in 1997. In addition to being a busy social worker, I am also a busy mother to my two children; and I enjoy running, traveling, reading, attending all manner of live music performances, and costuming in this diverse and unique city.