What do Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers do?
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.
- Counsel clients in individual or group sessions to assist them in dealing with substance abuse, mental or physical illness, poverty, unemployment, or physical abuse.
- 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.
- Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress with respect to treatment goals.
- Educate clients or community members about mental or physical illness, abuse, medication, or available community resources.
- Assist clients in adhering to treatment plans, such as setting up appointments, arranging for transportation to appointments, or providing support.
- 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.
- Counsel or aid family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting the client or patient.
- Increase social work knowledge by reviewing current literature, conducting social research, or attending seminars, training workshops, or classes.
- Plan or conduct programs to prevent substance abuse, combat social problems, or improve health or counseling services in community.
- Supervise or direct other workers who provide services to clients or patients.
- Develop or advise on social policy or assist in community development.
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