Social Work and Human Services
Social Work and Human Services
Working as a social worker involves improving the quality of life among groups, families and communities through practice, policy, social welfare and intervention. All these facets can only be achieved when individuals are prepared well through the relevant courses and practices in school. Working as an intern with people with mental problems provides a learner with vital knowledge that can be used later as a social worker. Coupled with the experiences as an intern, different areas of discussion in class were also important. Issues of substance abuse, suicide and homicide and PTSD were particularly intriguing in future endeavors as a social worker.
Substance abuse is an issue that has not only been discussed among members in the society, but also within the military personnel who are on active duty. Witkiewitz and Estrada (2011) confirm that most members of the military embark on substance abuse due to the high levels of stress they often encounter while in combat. They usually have mental health problems that lure them to drugs and other irresponsible behaviors while in the society. Deployment stress in periods of war and the culture of the military also accounts for the increasing substance abuse among the unit. Issues of confidentiality and stigma have posed difficult processes of trying to help those who are already affected. Such instances call for the support from individuals who understand the system and human behaviors. Working with mental patients can elicit new ideas on how to deal with those who are affected from substance abuse. Understanding the patient’s setting is vital when it comes to providing counseling and other needed help.
Substance abuse affects an individual’s body and their families at large. It’s even common to have permanent changes to a user’s body after stopping the vice. They often change the mood and performance of users and this can be detrimental to both the family members and other co-workers. It is evident that most users are usually in denial and this affects their operation and cooperation with others in the society. The ultimate dependency on substance abuse is inefficiency and occupational accidents which may lead to PTSD. Violence and crime are also related to substance abuse hence the need to have users helped stop the vice and become useful in the society. The affected individual can only be helped after careful study of the issues surrounding the military and substance abuse. This will help the victims change their lifestyle and live a meaningful life. The skills acquired while learning are vital as they help in providing various mechanisms that the patients will rely on while recovering.
The need for such lessons and experience in the mental health section help victims because most of them hide their mental health and drug problems to themselves. Such problems usually lead to domestic violence, which disintegrates families leading to single parenthood. These are problems that are associated with their mental functioning and need to be dealt with great care. Issues of mental health can only be understood by individuals who have had an opportunity of helping those who are affected with such conditions.
Working as a social worker can only become rewarding if those being assisted get the opportunity to change their lives and become useful members of the society. Additionally, those who help such victims need to have increased knowledge both in theory and practical to be able to make the changes needed. Due to the stigma associated with substance abuse most of those affected often deny any involvement with drugs. It is therefore imperative those being helped be understood and approached in an accommodative manner. Making friendships with those affected should be the first step towards helping those who are struggling with substance abuse in the society.
Suicide and homicide within the military have also been witnessed in many instances. Bryan et al., (2012) confirms that suicide within the military has become extraordinarily high in the past. Most military personnel commit suicide because of family break-up or the pressures they encounter while working. The rate of homicides and domestic violence among the disciplined force is also alarming. Such vices need the attention of experienced individuals who have both practical and theoretical lessons to help those who are affected. Knowledge on homicide and suicide will help understand the conditions of the victims involved and their immediate families. The information will help avoid judging the individuals and ensure peace within the affected families. The members will also receive vital lessons to help them cope with the situation and avoid any future suicide attempts. Military members who during their combat killed others can have vital lessons on how to avoid mental problems and ensure productive lifestyles.
Working with families who have experienced suicide among their family members is usually not easy, hence the need to have vast knowledge on the topic. These are families who may have been left without bread winners or father figures leading to rebellion among the children. Suicide is usually devastating and has far-reaching effects to the family members of the dead. Suicide survivors can feel the guilt of not preventing the death and most of them feel that they failed because their member felt unloved. It can lead to resentment to the individual who dies due to the confusion surround his or her demise. However, the survivors can move on and heal through the process.
Homicides often lead to devastating personal, professional, legal and family consequences. People convicted of homicides usually have long trials which are complicated, hence the need for experts who can help the victims recover while on parole. Information on homicide and suicide is thus vital when individuals endeavor to support victims to lead normal and fruitful lives with their families.
Homicide and suicide are never accepted within the realm of the military or society. Such occurrences often make the victim’s family become vulnerable to other attacks that are worse, and which may lead to their ultimate demise. Understanding the mind of a survivor is vital as it can help in counseling, and also help the offended recover from plans of revenge and bitterness.
Posttraumatic stress disorder, which is also referred to as battle fatigue syndrome is a condition that comes as a result of experiencing a terrifying event. This is usually a consequence that is lasting due to the traumatic ordeals experienced leading to helplessness and fear. Affected military personnel who experience PTSD are those who have witnessed death that in unexpected on their colleagues, accidents while on combat and natural disasters in their areas of operation. It is vital to note that family members of those affected can also develop the disorder including those who provide emergency to them. Dealing with those affected through PTSD is usually hard and needs individuals who understand their situation. This must be people who have knowledge and expertise in dealing with such cases. The individuals will be in a position to let the members know that they are lucky to be alive and should take the opportunity to better themselves and their families.
Supporting the affected is vital because PTSD leads to anger, nervousness, shock and guilt. Such reaction can distract an individual’s way of life and their families in general hence the need for assistance. It’s vital to note that PTSD can last longer and even increase over time making those affected vulnerable to other societal vices.
Recovering from PTSD is a process that is gradual, and its symptoms never disappear at once after treatment, hence the need for caring individuals who can lead the patients towards the recovery process. Coping with the disorder is often hard when members lack support. Those who receive help cope easily and can manage their feelings easily. Bryant (2003) proposes early intervention to those affected by PTSD to ensure quick recovery.
In conclusion, social work is a rewarding career that endeavors to help those in need and improve their quality of life. Learning the about the life of those in the military is an important step in understanding their needs while in active duty and after they retire. This provides the necessary tools that are required when helping those who are suffering from substance abuse, PTSD, homicide and their families at large. To help the individuals it is better to have knowledge on developmental and behavioral areas. This includes area of human development, social institutions and how they interact with one another.
Bryan, C. J., Jennings, K. W., Jobes, D. a, & Bradley, J. C. (2012). Understanding and Preventing Military Suicide. Archives of Suicide Research, 16(2), 95-110.
Bryant, R. (2003). Early predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 53(9), 789-795.
Witkiewitz, K., & Estrada, A. X. (2011). Substance abuse and mental health treatment in the military: Lessons learned and a way forward. Military Psychology, 23(1), 112-123.