Social workers wear many hats, and they juggle a multitude of roles and techniques to help those in need. They serve as counselors, life coaches, caseworkers, and problem-solvers to help individuals and their families overcome adversities. These adversities range from alcohol and drug addiction to depression, major disorders, poverty, homelessness, etc.
Mental health challenges constitute a significant part of their daily efforts. While some social workers specialize in Mental Health, others harness their skills as counselors and caseworkers. Every individual or case demands a multifaceted approach, demanding the social worker act as a counselor and aid facilitator.
How do social workers help those afflicted with mental health issues? Keep reading to take a closer look at how social work is tied to mental wellbeing and community service.
Reforming Mental Healthcare Systems
If the mental healthcare system were based on equality, patients wouldn’t find themselves fighting poverty and homelessness. Hundreds and thousands of sufferers end up on the streets after combatting bankruptcy and adversities. Others who land in asylums are denied effective treatments and are often subjected to inhumane treatment.
Social workers have a monumental role to play in the reformation of the mental healthcare system. They play their part by providing individual, one-on-one care to people suffering from mental illnesses. Social workers fight against social stigmas, malpractices, inequality, and inhumane treatment of mentally ill individuals.
Suppose you’re an aspiring or serving social worker with a passion for helping people afflicted with mental health illnesses. In that case, it’s wise to pursue a master degree in social work online and work towards mental health certifications. Professionals already working in the field have numerous advantages over those aspiring to enter the profession. Social work is a field that rewards continuous learning and academic advancement with professional growth.
Luckily, the online learning infrastructure offers ample support to advance your education and carve out professional significance. A post-graduate degree can expand your career prospects, allowing you to make a powerful impact in your field. And e-learning makes it easier to combine job responsibilities with academic endeavors.
Diagnosing & Treating Mental Illnesses
Social work is closely tied with mental health, cultural and economic afflictions in the quest to uplift communities. Social workers did not concentrate on mental health in the past, which created numerous roadblocks and challenges. Today, social workers can assess patients and diagnose them with mental illnesses. What’s more, they can also design and implement treatments for patients with emotional concerns, behavioral issues, and mental disorders.
It’s common for social workers to engage with patients diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and substance abuse. Addiction, alcoholism, and substance abuse are conditions they deal with on a daily basis. You see, the majority of their clients end up in highly vulnerable situations due to addiction and substance abuse.
Mental health diagnosis and treatment are a crucial part of a social worker’s job. You see, clients who come from abusive households, fight terminal illnesses, and combat homelessness struggle with mental health issues. Each case is different, but the underlying goal remains the same: diagnosing, treating, and overcoming mental health issues.
For instance, child abuse and neglect can lead to various behavioral concerns that a social worker must diagnose and treat. Likewise, individuals reeling from the trauma of chronic illnesses, bereavement, domestic abuse, and divorce also need mental health services.
Social workers also deal with individuals fighting homelessness, disabilities, unemployment, and other concerns. While some clients already have a diagnosed illness, others do not and demand immediate attention. A social worker must provide mental health support to clients and their families to elevate their wellbeing.
Once the diagnosis and treatment are underway, they help clients find well-paying jobs, housing, and reliable mental health care.
Counseling & Life Coaching
Despite its numerous advancements and innovations, the healthcare system worldwide doesn’t ensure equality for all. The wealthy and affluent enjoy world-class medical services, while the poor are left to languish on the streets. As we compare the mental health infrastructure with medical care, we notice glaring discrepancies and inequalities.
The rich and influential have the resources to obtain mental health care when they notice symptoms and signs creeping up. The poor and underprivileged do not have these resources, and to make matters worse, they are often considered unworthy of salvation. Dozens of social experiments on group behavior and underprivileged subjects reveal a societal unwillingness to help the downtrodden.
This disdain towards the underprivileged explains why many drug addicts and mentally ill individuals end up living on the streets. No one except social workers are willing to help them and steer them towards leading a fulfilling life. Social workers serve as counselors and life coaches, helping their clients with one-on-one sessions.
They counsel people suffering from depression, major disorders, alcohol and drug addictions, and other afflictions. Their approach is multifaceted as it aims to fight the illness and help them return to normalcy. Social workers help their clients become fully-functional adults by helping them secure employment, social benefits, and medical care.
Suppose a social worker is handling the case of individual fighting homelessness after suffering from depression. In that case, the social worker will combine medicinal interventions with counseling and community support. The same approach applies in the case of a homeless individual diagnosed with substance abuse.
Social workers have a profound role in raising community awareness around mental health illnesses and concerns. The mentally ill are often misunderstood, ridiculed, and discarded, especially in communities that lack awareness.
Professionals work closely with clients and their families to create awareness around the symptoms and concerns. They create awareness around mental health issues, diagnosis, treatments, medications, and potential side effects. They steer them and their families through an educational process to smoothen communication and build an understanding.
It’s no exaggeration to state that social workers go above and beyond mental health professionals in treating illnesses. Their role doesn’t end at diagnosing an illness and designing a treatment plan. Social workers cannot abandon their clients until they are stable and on the road to recovery. Raising awareness is crucial to help clients find their place in society after recovering.
Social workers serve the community with care, compassion, and concern. They must cultivate close-knit bonds by giving their clients trust, loyalty, transparency, and compassion. People diagnosed with mental health issues struggle to communicate effectively. They have numerous sensitivities and vulnerabilities that prevent them from leading fulfilling lives.
Many social workers specialize in mental health treatments, while others serve as counselors. Ultimately, a professional must decide their career trajectory by undertaking relevant specializations and certifications.
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Guest Author Bio
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