What’s What Wednesday: Social Workers and Mental Illness
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly 1 in 4 Americans are affected by mental illness annually and 20% of them are teenagers. Mood disorders, such as depression, represent the third most common cause of hospitalization for both youth and adults aged 18 to 44. Moreover, adults with chronic mental illness are at an increased risk for chronic medical illnesses and die on average 25 years earlier.
One of the roles of a Social Worker, is to educate and treat mental illness. Licensed Clinical Social Workers have completed the required training and supervised experience to provide clients enduring mental illness with the appropriate clinical treatment, hopefully in collaboration with medical doctors, psychiatrists, nurses and case managers.
Educating the public, clients and their families permits tolerance and understanding of the individual enduring mental illness. It is important to work together towards a shift of perspective in which mental illness is seen and treated by the public as any other medical issue. It is important to understand that as any medical condition, mental illness can be treated with medications, counseling and support.
The stigma of mental illness brings with it a message of worthlessness, weakness and inferiority. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness harboring the stigma has a negative effect on those afflicted with mental illness. The stigma often delays or prevents the healing process and increases the risk of suicide.
Social Workers struggle against this stigma. It is our commitment to increase the knowledge within the public, as well as, guiding our clients, to identify their internal strengths and reach healthier life styles.
If you suspect or are aware of someone struggling with mental illness, please know that there is help. The first step is to acknowledge the problem and understand that it is possible to find solutions. Please give us a call or visit our website for more information on the services we provide.
Call (239) 495-7722 or visit www.sscc.center