By Sam Engel
When most people think “social worker”, they think “therapist.” Obviously, we have learned otherwise throughout the duration of the course, however mental health plays a huge role in the social work profession. In fact, social workers are an integral mental health professional in the health care system. Here’s 3 fun facts about mental health in social work!!
- Pediatric mental health is often a priority for social workers. They often work with children, but what’s even more important is that about half of all mental health disorders appear by age 14, and almost 75% of mental health disorders by age 24 (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 153). The earlier a social worker can recognize a mental illness, the earlier they can help their client cope, live with, and potentially treat their disorder. Lack of preventative care is a huge issue in the health care system, and leads to a plethora of unnecessary funds!!
- Mental Illness is prevalent among the homeless. Correlation is not causation, and being homeless definitely does not cause a mental illness. However, 20-25% of the homeless have a major mental illness (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p.154-155). Having a mental illness is understandably difficult to cope with, and could even make it difficult to function in society. This, coupled with difficult circumstances, can make an individual become homeless.
- There is a huge demand for mental health in social work. That’s because 46% of all Americans experience some form of mental illness throughout their lifetime (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, p. 145). That’s roughly 151 million people in the United States!! That’s certainly going to need a lot of social workers!