The Agents of Change Spotlight: Anna Luna

The start of a new year seems to always be a cathartic and rewarding time for us here at Mindfulness First. The ability to look back and take account of all our successes throughout the year, the lives that have been impacted, and all the amazing donors who continue to make all of our work possible, is a really special thing for our team here.

As we evaluate 2018, and pivot our focus down the path of 2019 with intention, one thing we feel compelled to add to our blog postings and social media this year, is a new series we are calling “The Agents of Change Spotlight.” Our goal with this ongoing series is to highlight and magnify the contributions that certain individuals are making, that are directly impacting our communities, education, and mental health systems all over this country.

Our ultimate goal with this series, is to be able to create collaborations with each “Agent of Change” we spotlighting, so that we can expose you, our Mindfulness First audience, to these people and the meaningful work they are doing. So, whether it’s inviting them to speak in our monthly Community Circle, guest blogging on topical subject matter that will educate and inspire, or even working towards creating some community events that will help increase public exposure to all the work being done to address mental health issues in this country, our goal is to create a spotlight that increases awareness, and amplifies the conversations being had.

It’s with great enthusiasm that we announce our very first Agent of Change Spotlight: Anna Luna. Anna is an amazing woman who has had a multi-faceted career in social work. We’re so excited to announce that she will be speaking at our upcoming January 10th Virtual Community Circle Meeting, at 6pm MST via Zoom. You won’t want to miss this one, enroll now!

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Anna has been a social worker for the past seven years and began in the field of Child Protective Services (CPS) in California. From there she began her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and became a tribal social worker where she provided play therapy, and case management in foster care and adult counseling. She then moved to Arizona in 2015 where she became a tribal supervisor, managing a staff of five.

Through her work with the Salt River reservations, she became a foster mother and took the necessary time needed to be with her newborn foster son, before returning to work as a school social worker in 2017.

She currently runs a drug prevention education program at Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Arizona where she provides ongoing substance abuse prevention education, and teaches students techniques to combat stress and anxiety in the form of mindfulness.

Anna is also an adjunct professor for Western New Mexico University where she teachers Cultural Competency in Social Work to MSW graduate students. She is also a Community Liaison for Cornerstone Healing Center in Scottsdale, AZ, which allows her to work and develop collaborative relationships with many agencies and departments throughout the State of Arizona.

Anna has her eyes set on beginning clinical social work and will be testing to become a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in the spring of 2019.

The work that Anna and team are doing at Mesquite High School in teaching students mindfulness practices to decrease substance abuse, has show significant results, and is a clear example of why the integration of mindfulness techniques in our education system is so valuable for the future of our children.

Here is a quick but informative video of Anna and Dr. Frances Cruz explaining the goals, benefits, and successes of the Mindfulness Center at Mesquite High School thus far. We are so excited for all that she is doing for Arizona, and for Mindfulness.

Sunny Wight