Being a social worker is one of the most rewarding occupations today. Social workers have the compassion to direct their energy and time toward helping others. They aim to promote human rights, fight for justice, and help people with social and personal problems. For some, they are heroes who have helped them in more than one way – monetary help, physical help, medical help, and much more. All of these lead to one thing: the psychological well-being of society. Let us have a greater insight into their roles that promote psychological well-being.
- Social Workers In School
As we have progressed into the 21st century, there has been an increase in intolerance among children of school-going age. According to the national center for education statistics, every one out of five students is reported to be bullied by their schoolmates. Violence and bullying in educational institutes are significant reasons for psychological distress in children. Not only are they unable to manage their mental health, but their performance at school is affected by such incidences. There is also added pressure on the parents to observe any signs of being a victim of bullying. If not for social workers, there would not have been enough awareness about violence and bullying in a place that is supposed to nurture young minds. Social workers are trained professionals who have advanced degrees like online LCSW programs or other such programs.
These professionals provide therapy and counseling to students who find themselves in difficult situations in school. Their service also includes assisting parents in navigating their way during tough times.
- Child Welfare Services
Social workers specializing in child welfare services focus on children’s well-being at home. They advocate for children suffering from abuse, neglect, or disabilities. Child welfare social workers are also closely related to adoption agencies. They help families in looking for adoption services and foster care services. Their responsibilities also include ensuring that the foster care system remains a safe and effective way of nurturing children. Their contributions keep many young minds from psychological distress and trauma that might also affect their behavior in the future.
- Substance Abuse Social Work
You might have seen therapy in a group setting, led by a moderator in several movies. These scenes are a good representation of how social workers work with substance abuse patients. The clients can choose to either have discussions one-on-one or have them with people who have similar circumstances. This job requires compassion and commitment to work with long-term patients. Patients with substance abuse issues can have different problems like behavioral problems and even suicidal thoughts in severe cases. Social workers are trained to treat their patients while maintaining a professional relationship, no matter how personal their stories may be.
- Mental Health Issues
We have all seen exponential growth in mental health problems owing to the pandemic. A decrease in the stigma around such health problems has led to more people reaching out for professional help. Social workers have been fulfilling their part perfectly in helping people manage their emotions. Sometimes, psychological issues can stem from childhood trauma, family problems, or even genetics. A social worker’s responsibility is to conduct an assessment, make a diagnosis, and then treat the patient accordingly.
Treating problems related to mental health is similar to treating substance abuse. It can be done privately or in a group setting. Social workers are trained to set goals, arrange resources, and conduct ongoing counseling. The treatment chosen is specific to individuals. The social worker will arrange a family counseling session for a client stressed because of their family. However, they will manage a person with irrational phobias with exposure therapy.
- Social Work For Veterans And Military Members
Both current military members and veterans experience several traumatic events during their tenure. 17% of veterans who served in active combat suffer from PTSD. Social workers can be employed in the department of defense, department of veterans’ affairs, or other social service organizations. Here they provide treatment to military members and their families. The treatment can include counseling sessions or debriefing after a traumatic event. It is also a social worker’s responsibility to cater to the emotional needs and concerns of the families whose members have either been lost or deployed.
Moreover, social workers can help veterans transition into a normal civilian lifestyle at the end of their service. Finding employment and housing for themselves and schooling for their children might be stressful. If this stress is increased by post-traumatic disorder or anxiety, a veteran might need external help.
- Medical Concerns
Social workers aid the public health system greatly. They can research public health problems and then devise a plan to overcome these problems. The implementation of these plans serves a significant purpose to the public. Social workers require keen observation and critical thinking skills to identify public concerns and find solutions. Disease prevention plans and awareness campaigns are their major contributions to the health sector. Bringing light to teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases creates a better-informed community. With lesser health concerns and greater help, much of the psychological stress is released in a community.
- Social Work For The Administration
Social workers for administration are required to have an understanding of social policy and its implementation. They also evaluate people’s behavior and social problems. Managing a community involves dealing with budgets, designing and evaluating social programs, and making strategies to implement them. A worker must have effective leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills, for a role like such. Their contribution helps identify grave problems, so the community continues to progress.
There is no questioning that even if one of the sectors mentioned above malfunctions, the entire society faces devastating consequences. They say they are all part of a body; if one aches, all others are in distress. Social workers commit to ensuring the proper functioning of all the sectors to a great extent. This keeps a harmonious balance in society. If there are no stressors in the external environment, people do not have much to worry about. This takes away the psychological strain that results from a malfunctioning society.