In this job description guide, you will find out what do Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers do and what is their typical work day like. After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker or not.
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.
We asked Mental Health Social Workers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.
How meaningful is this job
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.
On a daily basis, Mental Health Social Workers Counsel clients in individual or group sessions to assist them in dealing with substance abuse, mental or physical illness, poverty, unemployment, or physical abuse. They Collaborate with counselors, physicians, or nurses to plan or coordinate treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs.
1 of the main responsibilities as A Mental Health Social Worker is to Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress with respect to treatment goals.
Some may also 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.
In a normal work day, another thing that Mental Health Social Workers do is they Modify treatment plans according to changes in client status.
In addition to that, they Supervise or direct other workers who provide services to clients or patients..
A typical day for A Mental Health Social Worker look like this:
|Counsel clients or patients with substance abuse issues.|
|Counsel clients or patients regarding personal issues.|
|Collaborate with other professionals to assess client needs or plan treatments.|
|Monitor clients to evaluate treatment progress.|
|Maintain client records.|
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|
|Do you have to use email everyday in this job?||91% 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 have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?||53% 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|
Besides the “typical day” things that Mental Health Social Workers do, they Counsel or aid family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting the client or patient. They might also Educate clients or community members about mental or physical illness, abuse, medication, or available community resources.
On a weekly to monthly basis, Mental Health Social Workers Increase social work knowledge by reviewing current literature, conducting social research, or attending seminars, training workshops, or classes.
A typical week or month for them might include:
|Counsel family members of clients or patients.|
|Lead classes or community events.|
|Research social issues.|
|Maintain professional social services knowledge.|
40 hours per week
Regular (Set schedule and routine)
In a typical work week as A Mental Health Social Worker, you can expect to work 40 hours per week.
Do Mental Health Social Workers work in an office-style work environment?
Once a week
Once a month
Once a year
Do Mental Health Social Workers work in a warehouse-style work environment?
Once a week
Once a month
Once a year
Do Mental Health Social Workers work outdoors?
Once a week
Once a month
Once a year
Is this right for me
Best personality for this career
The Helpers and The Thinkers
You can read more about these career personality types
here. You will like this career if you are someone who likes working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others. You also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
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They provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making referrals for other services. May also provide care and case management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.
They counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. May help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging.
They diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.
They counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
They provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers.
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