Social workers focus on improving the lives and well-being of people through extensive learning and training. Their goals are to help people deal with difficulties and to promote mental health, social justice, and human rights. The field of social work encompasses a variety of tasks, from helping people with mental health issues to keeping couples together.
To become a social worker, one must possess excellent problem-solving skills, active listening skills, and strong organizational and interpersonal abilities. A considerable amount of compassion, patience, and empathy is also necessary.
Social Workers are primarily responsible for:
- Arranging medical programs for minority and underprivileged groups
- Arranging programs for neglected children and child abuse
- Providing social security and unemployment insurance
- Organizing mental health programs for people with mental disorders
How to Become a Social Worker?
People with a passion for making the world a better place in whatever way they can find themselves inclined to work in social service. The first step towards becoming a social worker is to enroll in one of the relevant bachelor’s degrees. You can consider a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Mental Health, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology, or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Counseling.
Bachelor’s degrees and internships are sufficient to get an entry-level job, though some employers require additional education and licensure. If you want to take the next step after earning your master’s and gaining licensure, apply for a DSW (Doctor of Social Work) program.
If you cannot attend regular on-campus classes, you can get enrolled in one of the DSW degree online programs readily available in many reputable institutes. The online program has the same benefits as the on-campus degree. It will help you develop your research, leadership, and organizational skills, assisting you in securing a position in the field of social work.
Role of a Social Worker in Mental Health
The role of social workers is to help people from diverse backgrounds overcome the challenges they face. Social workers devote a great deal of their time and energy to keeping the general public’s mental health in check. The social work profession is considered one of the five essential groups in mental health.
Social workers advocate for people who suffer from mental illness and enable them to live more fulfilling lives. At present, there is a greater need for mental health social workers as more individuals are suffering from mental disorders and emotional difficulties.
In the following ways, social workers assist people from diverse backgrounds to maintain their mental health.
1- Social Work in Mental Health Clinics
In clinical social work, professionals use their knowledge and training to actively support a patients’ mental health. The patients receive education about the effects of stress on their lives and how to cope with it. In order to improve the health of a person’s mental and emotional aspects, they devise a strategy that addresses the root of these deep-seated problems.
Clinical social workers deal with a broad array of mental health issues, including trauma, child abuse, depression and anxiety disorders, relationship and family conflicts, and personality disorders. With such a broad scope, mental health social workers can practice in different settings and help a wide range of clients.
Generally, clinical social workers assist people with mental disorders in assessing, diagnosing and healing their illnesses. When a patient has a mental health condition, they are evaluated and taught about preventing disease and how to treat it. Some activities may include self-care education, individual and group counseling, and talking therapy.
2- Social work in Schools
A school social worker is an individual who works in an organization to promote the mental well-being of students, families, and educators. Through direct collaboration with students and parents, they excite students’ performance both in and out of the classroom.
Social workers serve as the link between schools and community resources such as healthcare organizations and food banks. Their policies involve crisis management and promote mental health.
Schools employ social workers trained in mental health to assist students with disabilities. Children and young students benefit from their support in terms of academic, social, and emotional development. They also help students and faculty with a wide range of issues. A few of their services include student counseling (sometimes with families) and home visits to understand students’ environments and its impact on their health.
The social workers at the school also identify and report signs of child abuse. Moreover, they arrange behavior management training programs for school teachers and administrators.
3- Social work in Drug Abuse
Social workers help people with drug addictions in substance abuse treatment centers. There is no doubt that you have an image of what drug addiction looks like – it is much stronger than what we imagine and hard to overcome. Once individuals start misusing a substance, they may be at a higher risk of developing a mental illness.
The role of a substance abuse social worker is to ease the recovery process for individuals struggling with addictions. They identify and plan detailed treatment programs for substance abuse cases. Addiction patients receive customized treatment plans based on their mental health.
A substance abuse social worker helps affected individuals conduct counseling sessions, listen to their feedback, address queries, and find resources.
Social workers have indisputably changed the world for many years and have become an essential part of society. These professionals help people cope with their daily lives. Social workers who specialize in mental health collaborate with people with mental illness and related issues like substance abuse. Currently, social workers are one of the most prominent allied health groups promoting mental health.