DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, STRESS AND ADDICTIONS –
ALL FALL UNDER THE HEALTH CARE UMBRELLA
Ron Davis Examines the Role of Social Worker at the BAFHT
Ron Davis is a retired journalist, and a patient with the BAFHT who decided to take a closer look at the various departments at the medical clinic in Zurich and explain the different roles the staff play in making the centre tick on a daily basis.
Getting the lowdown on what goes on and who does what at the Bluewater Area Family Health Team (BAFHT) clinic in Zurich is quite the learning experience. So far, I discovered how MOAs go about their daily work and what NPs go through to be able to operate effectively in a busy clinic. Quite an eye opener!
I just came across another role in the BAFHT that comes with a job description as long as your arm and calls for special skills which can only be described as comprehensive – Social Worker. The BAFHT has a professional social worker on staff that has credentials almost as long as her job description.
Right off the bat, I learned something that I didn’t know – and that is you don’t necessarily have to be a patient at the clinic to take advantage of the free services the BAFHT Social Worker offers. It’s as simple as calling in and making an appointment.
Personally, I never really thought how social work fits into the health care field. I know I am displaying my ignorance of health care matters. To me, health care up to now was an umbrella covering everything that might affect my day-to-day well-being – sore throat, cuts, broken limbs, flu shots and the like. It was always there when I needed it. For some reason which I cannot explain, social work belonged somewhere else altogether.
Now I know better. Turns out dealing with depression, anxiety, addictions and general mental health is a huge concern in our society today and it’s mighty comforting to know the BAFHT is on the front line addressing the problems. Social work is certainly a health care issue.
So what does a Social Worker do? First, he or she has to be a licensed professional with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers who is guided by the Scope of Practice and Ethical Standards. The areas covered are as wide as they are varied:
Mental Health Concerns – depression, anxiety, schizophrenia
Effective coping skills
Family and couple counseling
Family support for those suffering with mental health and/ or addiction issues
Education to support wellness and recovery management
Referral and advocacy for access to resources to help individuals and families