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Every year, one in six people in the UK suffer from some form of mental health issue and many of these people have little support from family and friends. In this article, we’ll be looking at the ways in which social workers provide essential support to adults in need.
What is a social worker?
Social work is a vital community-based role and provides a bridge between members of the community and medical services in the UK. Social work students at the University of Bolton undergo classroom learning and practice placements in order to arm them with the skills needed to support people in complex and challenging situations; bringing about positive change.
How do social workers support mental health issues?
The role of a social worker is a varied one and this important role includes many different activities. Let’s explore some of the ways in which the social worker supports adults with mental health issues:
In many cases, an adult with mental health issues will feel isolated and alone; which can very much exacerbate their condition. The social worker provides a vital connection for these people and a significant part of the role is all about creating a rapport and forming a relationship.
The skilled social worker needs to be able to quickly assess the patient’s condition and needs in order to be able to decide what kind of support is needed. Client conditions and requirements can often be extremely complex and the social worker is comprehensively trained to recognise and understand a diverse range of client needs, including working with vulnerable adults.
Adult mental healthcare is by no means a ‘one size fits all’ situation and the social worker will often be required to put in the leg work in terms of research in order to source and secure the most appropriate type of care needed.
One of the greatest skills that a social worker will learn is that of effective and sympathetic communication with clients. This is particularly important as the social worker will often be working with people who may not have an understanding of their condition or may be in denial of any such condition. Being able to communicate effectively with people who may, at times, become upset or agitated, is a skill which social workers are taught, and one which they continue to develop throughout their career.
The social network for adult care
Social work can be an incredibly rewarding career, although it’s not always an easy one. On any given day, a social worker may encounter clients with a range of different needs and may, from time to time, encounter clients who display emotional or aggressive behaviour.
Our BA (Hons) Social Work course at the University of Bolton is a leader in its field and helps to prepare students for their new careers through classroom learning and work placements. If you feel that a career in social work may be right for you, we’re running Open Days throughout 2023 which will allow you to get a feel for the university as well as helping you to figure out if the life of a social worker will be a good fit for you.
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