Hi folks! It’s getting close to those spring deadlines so, maybe some of you are rushing to get in your college applications or grad school preparations ready. What an exciting time! If you’re still on the fence about your career direction, maybe you should consider social work! If you can’t tell from the title, we’re going to be focusing on mental health careers in the social work field, today. Why? Because many people outside of the field don’t realize how much social workers are involved in the mental health field. Moreover, I’ve found that many people who see a social worker as a therapist don’t even know that they’re seeing a social worker! S/he is just their “therapist”.
It’s hard to turn on the news now days without hearing of some tragedy immediately followed by a discussion of the person’s/people’s mental health. It seems that many people are starting to realize that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health;and neglect of either can lead to tragic outcomes.
So, where do social worker’s fit in? Well, the answer is just about everywhere! Social workers are some of the most versatile professionals around. Social workers are often at the front line, investigating and referring clients to mental health services but, did you know that social workers are also often mental health providers?! That’s right, social workers, with proper training a licensure, can serve as counselors and therapists.
Social work therapists work with every population and often specialize in treating issues such as past-trauma, abuse, substance abuse, or mental illness. Social workers may either work under the supervision of a licensed professional or obtain a clinical license and work independently. Criteria for a clinical license varies by state but, most include a required number of supervised clinical hours and a standardized exam. Additionally, you’d probably need to pay a fee to your state licensing board for your initial license and any renewals.
Many social workers, with a license to practice independently, have their own private or group practices. Others work in hospitals,schools, or mental health facilities.The possibilities are endless!
Though social workers don’t prescribe medications, some people prefer to see them for therapy because of the values and perspective they bring to mental health. Even as a counselor or therapist a social worker’s values and ethics remain the same. Social workers are especially adept at recognizing strengths and empowering clients to use those strengths to work towards their recovery. You can see how that would be appealing to someone looking for long term treatment success!
So, if you’re looking for a career in mental health, consider being a social worker!