4 Reasons to Become a Psychiatric Social Worker
1. You could provide necessary care to people dealing with mental health issues.
- Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for youth and adults aged 18–44.
- Suicide is the tenth-leading cause of death in the U.S., the second-leading cause of death for people aged 10–14, and the second-leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.
- Each day, an estimated 18 to 22 veterans die by suicide.
- There is a 10-25 year life expectancy reduction in patients with severe mental disorders.
2. Serving vulnerable populations is a rewarding experience.
- Conducting psychosocial and risk assessments
- Providing individualized and group psychotherapy
- Offering crisis intervention and support
- Dispensing care coordination and discharge planning services
3. Psychiatric social workers occupy a variety of work environments.
- Inpatient psychiatric social workers
- Emergency and crisis services psychiatric social workers
- Outpatient psychiatric social workers
- Outpatient care centers
- Individual and family services
- Residential intellectual and developmental disability, mental health and substance abuse facilities
- Local government, excluding schools and hospitals
- Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals
4. Job opportunities are expected to grow during the next decade.
How to Become a Psychiatric Social Worker
- Communication: Social workers must be able to listen to and understand their clients’ needs in order to support them effectively.
- Emotional: This role includes frequent work with individuals who are in very stressful situations.
- Interpersonal: These professionals work with diverse groups of people.
- Organizational: The profession is fast-paced and has many priorities that require particular attention.
- Problem-solving: Client dynamics are often complex and require practical and innovative approaches to care.