Imagine being able to help patients and families manage an illness or provide support to those struggling with substance abuse. Those are two of the many options available to students who earn a Bachelor of Social Work at Limestone and are interested in a career in the health and wellness field.
In the context of social work, health and wellness generally refers to practice within the U.S. health system including health care facilities, public health clinics, and any publicly run health or wellness program. However, it may also refer to work within advocacy organizations that promote issues related to health.
Some of the most common social work careers in the area of health and wellness are medical, mental health and substance abuse social workers.
Medical and Health Social Worker
When the burdens of a medical condition fall on an individual and/or a family, it can be difficult to navigate many administrative aspects of managing an illness. For example, locating health resources, weighing different healthcare options, writing advanced directives, and coordinating continuum of care are some of the many services social workers provide to patients and their families. Most often, medical and health social workers work in hospitals and serve as case managers, patient navigators and therapists.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker
Mental health and substance abuse social workers help individuals and families suffering from mental health conditions and/or addictions. In some cases, patients living with mental health issues may also turn to substance abuse. Mental health and substance abuse social workers generally work in hospitals, treatment centers, and rehabilitation facilities. They connect patients to resources to help manage their condition and/or aid their recovery.
Clinical social workers— licensed practitioners who have obtained an advanced degree, have two or more years of supervised experience and have passed a licensing exam— may also provide therapy to patients suffering from mental health or substance abuse.
Students pursuing the Social Work Program at Limestone College who are interested in health and wellness careers can take advantage of related course offerings as well as access to experienced practitioners among program faculty. For example, professor Kertrina Graham has worked with Circle Park Behavioral Health Services in Florence, SC, where she facilitated Alcohol and Drug Abuse Educational Groups and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Structured Groups.