LIVINGSTON, NJ – Recently, Danna Markson, licensed psychotherapist and founder of Mindsoother Therapy in Livingston, was presented with the 2013 Social Worker of the Year Award by The National Association of Social Workers for her work in producing the documentary, ‘Someday Melissa’. The film is based upon Markson’s former client, Melissa Arvin, who battled bulimia and lost her life to the disease at the age of 19.
“It’s a huge honor. Just to be nominated by fellow peers and have other social workers in the state recognize me for my work is really a tremendous honor,” said Markson.
Markson said that the initial idea for the documentary was born a few weeks after Melissa’s death. “Her mother came to me and wanted to share Melissa’s journal with me,” said Markson. “When I saw it I was like, ‘this is a documentary.’” Markson then began work on ‘Someday Melissa’; a film she hoped would one day save lives.
“My goal for the film is to have people take eating disorders seriously. Eating disorders are serious illnesses, and not many people are aware that they can be lethal. Treatment is required to overcome them. My hope is that the film will help people to understand this and encourage victims to seek treatment.”
The 2013 NASW-NJ Annual Conference and Exhibition award ceremony was held at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Christine James, NASW-NJ President-Elect, presented Markson with the award and gave a short speech to the assembly watching about the importance of Markson’s work. “’Someday Melissa’…has become an effective tool in educating social workers and the public about the devastating effects of eating disorders on those suffering from the disease as well as on their family and friends.”
The documentary’s title comes from a poem Melissa wrote in her journal before her death:
“Someday … I’ll eat breakfast.
I’ll keep a job for more than 3 weeks.
I’ll have a boyfriend for more than 10 days.
I’ll love someone.
I’ll travel wherever I want.
I’ll make my family proud.
I’ll make a movie that will change lives.”
Danna Markson has helped to make Melissa’s dream come true, even if that dream came as a result of Melissa’s death.
Danna has extensive experience working with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as relationship issues and life transitions.
The National Association of Social Workers is the largest organization of professional social workers in the world. NASW is committed to advancing professional social work practice and the profession; and to promoting human rights, social and economic justice, and unimpeded access to services for everyone.