People and communities are empowered through social work, which is a practice-based profession that fosters social change, development, cohesiveness, and empowerment. Understanding human growth, behaviour, social, economic, and cultural structures and interconnections are essential for social work practice.
While social workers work in a variety of settings, they all share a commitment to promoting social welfare, assisting people of all backgrounds in overcoming their individual challenges, advocating for social and economic justice for members of diverse communities, and upholding social work code of ethics.
Mental Health, Medicaid & Medicare, Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention, Civil Rights, Unemployment, and Disability are some major areas of social work. As an avid reader of the subject, you might be interested in the following fascinating facts about social workers.
Also Read: Social Work Case Management Guide
Mental health or psychiatric social work is one of the most in-demand forms of social work. Psychiatric social work is a subset of medical social work that focuses on assisting, counselling, and coordinating the care of persons who are severely mentally ill and require hospitalization or other forms of extensive psychiatric treatment.
In this difficult and demanding sector, social workers must engage directly with people who are suffering from complicated and difficult-to-manage conditions, are in profound emotional distress, and/or maybe a danger to themselves or others. Psychiatric social workers may also have difficulty obtaining the tools and assistance that their clients require to fully address their issues.
An anxiety disorder, life crisis, suicidal thoughts, depression and other mood disorders, psychosis, personality disorders, marital problems, trauma, family conflicts, and other mental health illnesses are assessed and treated by a Mental Health Social Worker.
They assist their patients in improving their lives by resolving present psychological concerns as well as the social challenges that arise as a result of them. A mental health social worker is aware of the broader consequences of their patient’s mental illness, including how it affects their employment, family, friends, and way of life.
Clinical social workers, school social workers, and substance abuse social workers are all important responsibilities in mental health social work. Hospitals, mental health clinics, and private offices are common places for mental health social workers to work.
Identifying and reaching out to those in need, assessing people’s needs and developing a plan of action, assisting people in adjusting to major life changes, responding to crisis situations, connecting people with important resources and support, evaluating social services and support programmes, providing advocacy for people when needed, and following up with people to ensure their circumstances are improving are some of the common duties of a mental health social worker.
Inpatient psychiatric social professionals, emergency and crisis services psychiatric social workers, and outpatient psychiatric social workers are all examples of psychiatric social workers. Some psychiatric social workers may work in all three sectors – inpatient, outpatient, and emergency care – depending on their work context and role.
Inpatient psychiatric social workers work with patients who have been hospitalized for debilitating or dangerous psychological and/or behavioural issues, such as severe substance abuse, psychosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other conditions, in psychiatry departments of hospitals and medical centers.
As part of a crisis or emergency services team, psychiatric social workers undertake psychiatric examinations, short-term crisis support, and care coordination for patients who are experiencing acute crises or are in danger of harming themselves or others.
Patients in outpatient psychiatric settings are often at risk of needing hospitalization or have recently been discharged from an inpatient setting. Outpatient psychiatric social workers provide therapy and care coordination services to individuals who do not require immediate hospitalization but still struggle with severe mental illness and debilitating emotional and/or behavioural issues.
Psychiatric social workers are in charge of comprehensive case management, also known as care coordination, after determining their patients’ mental health state and treatment history. This may entail ensuring that their patients receive the mental health care they require by:
Psychiatric social work is a difficult and demanding career. People suffering from extremely severe, complicated, and multifaceted mental health and behavioural difficulties require comprehensive and, at times, holistic treatment from psychiatric social workers.
Furthermore, seeing people who are in severe pain and may be a danger to themselves or others on a daily basis can be unsettling and taxing for certain experts in the industry.
Furthermore, many Americans face considerable impediments to mental health treatment access. More than half of adults in the United States with mental illness do not obtain treatment, amounting to about 27 million adults in the country who are untreated.
However, in order to improve the utilization of mental health services, we must first understand what inhibits people from seeking them.
Financial obstacles, a dearth of mental health specialists, a lack of mental health awareness, the social stigma associated with mental illnesses, and some racial barriers to mental health access continue to obstruct the promotion of high-quality mental healthcare for all.
However, to overcome organization-level barriers, care providers are rapidly adopting modern, technology-based mental health case management solutions to ensure maximum coverage of their services, allowing people to more effectively combat this epidemic.