With Social Work Month in full swing, we want to take the time to celebrate social workers, especially those who work in the behavioral health space. In light of the impact from COVID, Social Work Month’s theme for this year is Social Workers Are Essential.
What is Social Work?
Social work is a practice-based profession that falls under the broader umbrella of human services. The primary goal of social work is to help people in need and may involve areas like social justice, civil rights, unemployment, disability, child welfare, mental health, and healthcare. Because there are several branches of social work, there are a variety of different types of social workers including:
- Licensed clinical social workers
- Psychiatric social workers
- Social and community social workers
- Substance use social workers
- Healthcare social workers
- School social workers
- Child and family social workers
These various types of social work involve different skills, education, training, and licenses.
Social Work & Behavioral Health
Psychiatric social workers, clinical social workers, and substance use social workers work in the behavioral health space to help people who are struggling with these conditions and their loved ones get the care they need. In particular, a psychiatric social worker will often work with people with more severe mental health conditions. They will assess patient’s psychiatric needs, make mental health diagnoses, and provide mental health care like psychotherapy. They may also spend time educating family members and friends about their loved one’s condition as well as discussing long-term options for care. Clinical social workers work with people with mental health and substance use conditions. They are responsible for a wide range of duties including assessment, diagnosis, treatment, intervention, and prevention. They often use individual, group, and family therapy to help their patients heal. Substance use social workers work specifically with people who are struggling with substance use conditions and their loved ones. Their duties involve both short- and long-term drug and alcohol treatment responsibilities like assessment and discharge planning. They also often have a large say in a patient’s treatment plan. At Vertava Health, we want to celebrate social workers during Social Work Month and all that they do for the community and behavioral health. We employ a variety of different professionals like social workers, counselors, nurse practitioners, and therapists to aid patients in their behavioral health treatment. By having a team of diverse professionals with different areas of expertise, we are better able to ensure that every patient is getting the comprehensive care they need to live out their best future.