When people think of social care jobs, a lot of the time, they will think of a role that helps those who can no longer physically help themselves. Such as someone who has had a serious accident, or has lost some of their mobility due to old age etc. However, a huge part of social care is helping those with mental health problems. In this article, we will look at what this entails. If you are considering this kind of role, it should be understood straight away that this can be a very taxing job, both physically and mentally, yet ultimately a highly rewarding challenge.
One person alone, can not effectively help someone with a mental health problem. Instead working in mental health needs to be seen as working as part of a team. This can include: mental health nurses, doctors, social workers, social care workers etc. If all these people work as a team, then sustainable, long term help can be administered. Depending what role within mental health you end up working in, the teams you are working within can change from case to case, day to day, or week to week. In short, your role, hours worked and other factors can vary massively on a day to day basis.
Throughout social care, building relationships is important. This is especially the case within mental health, as you need to provide reassurance, and be a figure that service users trust and will take your advice seriously. Each person you encounter within this role will be unique, and so will the relationships you form with them. You must expect it to be challenging, but overall the more of a positive relationship you can conduct with a service user, the higher the chance of success with their treatment plan.
Finally, within the social care of mental health treatment, the role you can expect to have is one of a social worker, or social care assistant. Other paths such as doctors or mental health nurses would arise from a medical background. In these social care roles, your time will be spent meeting service users and discovering their needs. Then you will try and work out the best way in which these needs can be met, and how to generally support them. This could mean making sure they are meeting with correct HCPs, or have the right tools at their disposal to help themselves with their own treatment. Outside of the hospital, you will often be the first point of contact and the most frequent point of contact with service users. So overall, it is you who begins to mould the direction in which a service user can be helped, or help themselves.