What Do Mental Health Social Workers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Mental Health Social Workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education. They also counsel clients in individual or group sessions to assist them in dealing with substance abuse, mental or physical illness, poverty, unemployment, or physical abuse.

Other tasks include:

  • Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress with respect to treatment goals.
  • Interview clients, review records, conduct assessments, or confer with other professionals to evaluate the mental or physical condition of clients or patients.
  • Collaborate with counselors, physicians, or nurses to plan or coordinate treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs.
  • Counsel or aid family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting the client or patient.
  • Refer patient, client, or family to community resources for housing or treatment to assist in recovery from mental or physical illness, following through to ensure service efficacy.
  • Modify treatment plans according to changes in client status.

We asked Mental Health Social Workers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

83%

How meaningful is this job

82%


83% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 82% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Mental Health Social Workers assist clients in adhering to treatment plans, such as setting up appointments, arranging for transportation to appointments, or providing support. They collaborate with counselors, physicians, or nurses to plan or coordinate treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs.

A typical day for a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker will also include:

  • Modify treatment plans according to changes in client status.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress with respect to treatment goals.
  • Supervise or direct other workers who provide services to clients or patients.
  • Interview clients, review records, conduct assessments, or confer with other professionals to evaluate the mental or physical condition of clients or patients.
  • Counsel clients in individual or group sessions to assist them in dealing with substance abuse, mental or physical illness, poverty, unemployment, or physical abuse.

We asked some Mental Health Social Workers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?89% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?65% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?88% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?38% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?25% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?59% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Mental Health Social Workers also increase social work knowledge by reviewing current literature, conducting social research, or attending seminars, training workshops, or classes. They may also modify treatment plans according to changes in client status.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Mental Health Social Workers Educate clients or community members about mental or physical illness, abuse, medication, or available community resources. They might also Develop or advise on social policy or assist in community development.

In addition, they Collaborate with counselors, physicians, or nurses to plan or coordinate treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Assist clients in adhering to treatment plans, such as setting up appointments, arranging for transportation to appointments, or providing support.

To some Mental Health Social Workers, it is also their responsibility to Counsel or aid family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting the client or patient.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Mental Health Social Workers work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
83%


Never
10%


Do Mental Health Social Workers work outdoors?

Never
59%


Once a year
18%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Helpers and The Thinkers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Mental Health Social Workers

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Related to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers Job Description

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers job description, what do Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers do, typical day for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers, what is it like to work as a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker, how many hours do Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers work, day to day work of a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm
https://www.abecsw.org/
http://www.acosa.org/
https://www.socialworkers.org/


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