PTSD is a disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.
Social workers Dre’ Johnson and Renee Brean are part of a pioneering new approach to policing in Rochester, New York. They belong to the city's “person in crisis” team – a unit of mental health and behavioral professionals who attend police calls where a person may be suffering a mental health episode.
The premise behind the "person in crisis" team is simple: it contends that for all their training and skills, police are not equipped to deal with the complexities that a mental health crisis requires. By sending mental health professionals along to 911 calls that may involve potential psychological breakdowns, officials hope that these situations can be dealt with more sensitively, and more safely.
With the popularity of CSI shows, the word "forensic" has wormed its way into our everyday conversations. No one, however, seems to know what it means. "Forensic social work", therefore, is an even deeper mystery. We decided to ask a real "forensic social worker" exactly what forensic social workers do. Here's what she told us.
The COVID-19 inoculation program rolled out by federal and state governments has been nothing short of life saving for the entire country. In the U.S. at least, we are on the way to beating back the deadliest viral pandemic in history. Hospitalizations and deaths are both dwindling. But social workers tell us that the COVID-19 virus has inflicted long-lasting social and psychic effects on our society.
Adults 65 and older account for 16% of the US population but 80% of COVID-19 deaths. Even as most states begin to gradually reopen society to restart a stalled economy, the message to the elderly is “NOT YOU”. You best - “STAY HOME” – “ISOLATE” - “QUARANTINE” while the rest of society risks illness trying to get on with life.
Social workers who work with the elderly are concerned. They say that during times of crisis, mental health cannot be overlooked. Loneliness and social isolation for older adults have a deep, emotional impact, sometimes leading to social disorders such as depression and anxiety. Social isolation has also been linked to increases in emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and nursing home placements.
Social workers tell us that primary care providers are inundated with patients seeking help with psychic symptoms that require the attention of a psychiatric specialist. Family physicians and emergency room doctors often do not feel qualified to deal with this new mental health crisis and need the help of social workers to execute a referral process while helping patients feel more comfortable going to a new and unfamiliar physician.
When the draft ended in 1973, women represented just 2% of the enlisted forces and 8% of the officer corps. Today, those numbers are 16% and 18% respectively, a significant increase. Historically, the Air Force has had the highest percentage of enlisted and officer women, however, by 2016 the Navy had nearly caught up. In both services, approximately one-in-five enlisted members and officers are women. The military offers many opportunities for women such as good pay, excellent benefits and career advancement, but there are also significant challenges.
I have seen first hand how having the right human services software can really make a difference in kids’ lives. How kids that are in the system, for whatever reason, can get better treatment, better understanding and a chance to just be kids.
It is a serious misperception to view social workers as low paid civil servants who push paper on behalf of the less fortunate and perhaps undeserving. Social workers occupy a unique position in our social fabric.
From the very outset, the history of social work is populated with empathetic leaders who, upon discovering profound human suffering, not only offered a helping hand but immediately set out to change the social conditions contributing to the suffering. Social work's earliest pioneers - Florence Kelley, Alice Hamilton, Julia Lathrop, Sophonisba Breckinridge, and Grace and Edith Abbott, among others—laid the foundation of the profession's social leadership role and, to this day, this inclination to activism sets social workers apart from other civil servants.
Let’s begin 2019 with some good news…
This Christmas Brian Breach got into the spirit of giving, but with a twist; he decided to give to givers. He dressed down as if he were homeless, printed a sign that asked for donations to feed his family at Christmas, and stood in front of a mall with a tin cup. When anyone approached and dropped coins into his cup, he would give them a crisp new $100 bill. “I wanted to recognize the good giving people who would willingly share the little they have to help a stranger in need.”