5 Reasons Social Working: The pandemic has been very difficult for people from all walks of life. It has affected them mentally, socially, physically, and emotionally. People had to face unemployment, separation from their families, constrained livelihood and stress, to name a few. Medical emergencies occurring to people closer to them have taken a toll on individuals and communities. During these difficult times, nurses have supported healthcare as frontline soldiers.
Apart from nurses, one more profession buttressed society with their service during the pandemic—social workers. Social workers helped people cope with their stress related to not just everyday issues but also more complicated problems. They are always ready to step into highly stressful situations. Therefore, it is evident that in precarious times, the world needs the support and work of social workers more than ever before.
Not just the pandemic, raising complex issues in general needs the more meaningful work done by social workers in various fields. There is more frequent news about horrific crimes committed against women and kids, complex public welfare issues and stories of human assault or tragedy. These issues are increasing like wildfire; hence, the need for social workers has also amplified exponentially.
Now, you might have the spirit of a helper who often wonders about how to become a social worker to assist in eradicating these issues. The answer is not so complicated; you only need the passion and empathy to help grieving people along with proper education and training from a good institute. Here are some more reasons why social work is needed now more than ever.
Offer assistance to people with mental health conditions
Clinical social workers are individuals with a proper license to work in healthcare. They have adequate education and training to diagnose and treat mental illnesses, emotional and behavioral disorders. Covid-19 did not only bring physical illness; it had its mental and emotional impacts too. People have developed a paranoia of contracting the disease, leading to many mental illnesses. Therefore, during and after the pandemic, the work of clinical social workers has become more meaningful.
Mental issues also lead to many physical consequences, creating a deadly chain of events that destroy psychological and physical well-being. Disease Control and Prevention cites that chronic health issues can worsen in people experiencing frequent bouts of stress, leading them to use mind-altering substances. With these issues surfacing more frequently, there is a need to induct more licensed social workers into the healthcare field. They help their client maintain adequate mental and physical health by offering them good coping strategies, counseling, and other remedies.
Helping people build their capacities for a better future
Social workers work with people from various ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. They can help people develop their capacities for better living in the future. For example, they could be working with Somalian nomadic tribes to help distribute the goats for an adequate food and milk supply for families. They could even be offering their services in a hospital in London to connect broader family networks and support a vulnerable family member.
Help patients with substance abuse
With the current crisis of the opioid epidemic engulfing people of all ages and from all walks of life, the need for social workers to help these individuals has become more pronounced. Social workers who can fight substance abuse have proper substance abuse prevention and treatment training. They help the addicts with drug and alcohol addiction by offering them the necessary support to fight the challenge of terminating substance use and returning to recovery.
A recent survey conducted in September 2020 reports that 55% of the survey participants reported an increase in alcohol consumption in August 2020. More than 35% of the individuals reported increased use of prohibited drugs. The social workers help these substance users cope with the negative impacts of discontinuing these drugs.
Support the families and individuals in need
With more physical and domestic violence cases and obstruction of justice today, the need for social work is like never before. They are needed to raise voices on behalf of others living in marginalized communities or where social influences bar them from seeking justice. Women are scared from speaking up after cruel episodes of domestic violence, and child abuse is common with no justice for the families and the victim.
In such situations, social workers are the only hope. They look for cases of flagrant injustice and raise their concerns via multiple mediums. Their efforts often result in changes to government policies or the introduction of new programs for the betterment of society. Social workers become the voice of these destitute and forlorn people.
School social workers help schools, families, and kids
More severe family-related issues have emerged during the pandemic. For example, the “New England Journal of Medicine” cites more frequent instances of intimate partner violence where victims had to live with the abusers for a long time. One of the indicators for such an estimate is the decrease in the frequency of domestic-violence hotlines, potentially because the victims did not have access to these services. A similar issue that has affected the families is the closure of schools, causing a widespread increase in mental health issues in kids. As a result, school social workers assist kids even during school closure.
School social workers have helped families by connecting them to local resources to meet their food and other needs. They have also worked with teachers training them about self-care strategies to maintain a healthy and balanced environment when helping students. Moreover, during the pandemic and later, school social workers are also needed to enhance student engagement with the help of community, family, and group or individualized interventions.
The role of social workers has expanded considerably. With more specialized careers available in this field, these individuals can help people from various segments of society. They are working with NGOs and helping patients with acute substance abuse and mental health conditions. Anyone wanting to impact society positively will find their place in this field.