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PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKER: Helping The Mentally Ill Stay Healthy In Their Community

About this video 

Nancy, a psychiatric social worker, works with people who have severe mental illness. Her typical day starts with her receiving new cases that she must assess with her team. They work with the patients to figure out why they are there and what they can do to become healthy again. She became interested in psychiatric social work when she interned at a psychiatric hospital while doing her masters in social work. Nancy was able to combine her interests into her current job.

Degree: Social Work - Public Health - Teaching English or French as a Second or Foreign Language
Job Title: Psychiatric Social Worker

Job Summary: Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Job Description

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors advise people who have alcoholism or other types of addiction, eating disorders, or other behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help the client recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors.

On-the-Job Training

None

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$25,000 - $70,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
20 to 30 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Travel, Hospital / Clinic, Indoor, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Empathy, Organizational skills, People skills, Problem solving skills, Verbal communication skills
P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='490'>Hi,</span> <span m='650'>my</span> <span m='830'>name's</span> <span m='1130'>Nancy</span> <span m='1475'>and</span> <span m='1820'>I'm</span> <span m='2080'>a</span> <span m='2170'>psychiatric</span> <span m='2880'>social</span> <span m='3130'>worker.</span> <span m='4450'>And</span> <span m='4910'>then</span> <span m='5210'>I</span> <span m='5310'>work</span> <span m='5570'>at</span> <span m='5660'>an</span> <span m='5960'>acute</span> <span m='6530'>psychiatric</span> <span m='7300'>hospital.</span> <span m='8410'>So</span> <span m='8570'>that</span> <span m='8850'>means</span> <span m='9280'>I</span> <span m='9450'>work with</span> <span m='9700'>people</span> <span m='10260'>who</span> <span m='10340'>have</span> <span m='10680'>severe</span> <span m='11080'>mental</span> <span m='11450'>illness.</span> <span m='12140'>They</span> <span m='12565'>could</span> <span m='12990'>be</span> <span m='13630'>having</span> <span m='14020'>delusions</span> <span m='15100'>and</span> <span m='15350'>that</span> <span m='15580'>means</span> <span m='15980'>they</span> <span m='16290'>think</span> <span m='17120'>things</span> <span m='17450'>are</span> <span m='17540'>real</span> <span m='17940'>but</span> <span m='18120'>they're</span> <span m='18310'>really</span> <span m='18600'>not.</span> <span m='19535'>They</span> <span m='20010'>could be</span> <span m='20370'>in a</span> <span m='20610'>manic</span> <span m='20800'>state</span> <span m='21560'>and</span> <span m='21720'>they're</span> <span m='22040'>really</span> <span m='22360'>excited</span> <span m='23080'>and</span> <span m='23200'>they're</span> <span m='23330'>not</span> <span m='23610'>sleeping</span> <span m='24340'>and</span> <span m='24440'>they</span> <span m='24540'>have</span> <span m='24860'>racing</span> <span m='25380'>thoughts.</span> <span m='26410'>And</span> <span m='26650'>some</span> <span m='26890'>people</span> <span m='27230'>have</span> <span m='27430'>actually</span> <span m='27815'>attempted to</span> <span m='28200'>commit</span> <span m='28470'>suicide.</span> <span m='29780'>And</span> <span m='30110'>some</span> <span m='30350'>people</span> <span m='30610'>are</span> <span m='30670'>just</span> <span m='30900'>really</span> <span m='31140'>depressed.</span> </p><p><span m='32590'>And</span> <span m='32980'>on</span> <span m='33100'>a</span> <span m='33190'>typical</span> <span m='33620'>day</span> <span m='33960'>I</span> <span m='34170'>go</span> <span m='34420'>in</span> <span m='34690'>and</span> <span m='34820'>I have a</span> <span m='35130'>caseload.</span> <span m='36570'>I</span> <span m='37200'>meet</span> <span m='37420'>new patients.</span> <span m='38760'>I</span> <span m='38990'>assess</span> <span m='39190'>them</span> <span m='40350'>along</span> <span m='40660'>with</span> <span m='40810'>the</span> <span m='40850'>psychiatrist</span> <span m='41260'>with</span> <span m='41670'>whom</span> <span m='41910'>I</span> <span m='42090'>work.</span> <span m='42830'>And</span> <span m='42950'>there's</span> <span m='43070'>a</span> <span m='43340'>team of</span> <span m='43590'>us.</span> <span m='43870'>There's</span> <span m='44110'>a</span> <span m='44180'>social</span> <span m='44590'>worker,</span> <span m='44820'>a</span> <span m='45050'>psychiatrist,</span> <span m='46250'>an</span> <span m='46800'>occupational</span> <span m='47580'>therapist,</span> <span m='48180'>and</span> <span m='48450'>then there</span> <span m='48760'>are</span> <span m='48780'>many</span> <span m='49530'>nurses</span> <span m='50020'>that</span> <span m='50140'>work</span> <span m='50510'>with us.</span> </p><p><span m='50980'>So</span> <span m='51270'>we</span> <span m='51720'>each have</span> <span m='51900'>a role</span> <span m='52270'>to</span> <span m='52640'>work</span> <span m='52860'>with</span> <span m='53040'>patients</span> <span m='53660'>to</span> <span m='53910'>find</span> <span m='54240'>out</span> <span m='54400'>why</span> <span m='54640'>they're</span> <span m='54810'>there,</span> <span m='56900'>how</span> <span m='57040'>many</span> <span m='57230'>times</span> <span m='57530'>they've</span> <span m='57720'>come</span> <span m='57970'>to</span> <span m='58080'>the</span> <span m='58150'>hospital,</span> <span m='58860'>what</span> <span m='59040'>we</span> <span m='59180'>can</span> <span m='59390'>do</span> <span m='59790'>to</span> <span m='60720'>try</span> <span m='61370'>and</span> <span m='62150'>prevent</span> <span m='62540'>them</span> <span m='62710'>from</span> <span m='63070'>coming</span> <span m='63280'>again,</span> <span m='63540'>and</span> <span m='63690'>how</span> <span m='63860'>they</span> <span m='63950'>can</span> <span m='64050'>stay</span> <span m='64180'>healthy</span> <span m='64870'>in</span> <span m='65019'>the</span> <span m='65150'>community.</span> <span m='66500'>So</span> <span m='66740'>I</span> <span m='66870'>work</span> <span m='67100'>with</span> <span m='67220'>families,</span> <span m='68080'>I</span> <span m='68160'>work</span> <span m='68400'>with</span> <span m='68650'>lots</span> <span m='69380'>of</span> <span m='69550'>different</span> <span m='70010'>community</span> <span m='70530'>agencies,</span> <span m='71970'>and</span> <span m='73140'>the</span> <span m='73520'>patients</span> <span m='74000'>themselves,</span> <span m='74400'>trying</span> <span m='74690'>to</span> <span m='75130'>keep them</span> <span m='75330'>healthy.</span> </p><p><span m='76430'>So</span> <span m='76690'>how</span> <span m='76910'>did</span> <span m='77010'>I</span> <span m='77170'>become</span> <span m='77550'>a</span> <span m='77610'>psychiatric</span> <span m='78360'>social</span> <span m='78790'>worker?</span> <span m='79760'>I</span> <span m='80010'>first</span> <span m='80380'>got</span> <span m='80680'>my</span> <span m='80900'>degree</span> <span m='81330'>an</span> <span m='81480'>English</span> <span m='81840'>Education.</span> <span m='82410'>I</span> <span m='82470'>worked</span> <span m='82740'>with</span> <span m='83080'>kids at</span> <span m='83190'>risk.</span> <span m='84240'>Then I</span> <span m='86240'>got</span> <span m='86410'>a</span> <span m='86460'>master's</span> <span m='86940'>degree</span> <span m='87560'>in</span> <span m='88000'>public</span> <span m='88390'>health.</span> <span m='89090'>And</span> <span m='89590'>when</span> <span m='89760'>I</span> <span m='89820'>was</span> <span m='89970'>studying</span> <span m='90270'>public</span> <span m='90600'>health</span> <span m='90800'>I</span> <span m='90890'>got</span> <span m='91140'>interested</span> <span m='91640'>in</span> <span m='91780'>mental</span> <span m='92180'>health.</span> <span m='92810'>So</span> <span m='93020'>I</span> <span m='93130'>worked</span> <span m='93490'>with</span> <span m='93710'>dementia</span> <span m='94170'>patients</span> <span m='94830'>and</span> <span m='95060'>their</span> <span m='95200'>caregivers</span> <span m='95800'>for</span> <span m='95980'>a</span> <span m='96020'>while.</span> <span m='96710'>And</span> <span m='97990'>that's</span> <span m='98280'>when</span> <span m='98430'>I</span> <span m='98530'>decided,</span> <span m='99040'>oh,</span> <span m='99440'>there's</span> <span m='99680'>a</span> <span m='99740'>whole</span> <span m='100500'>different</span> <span m='101350'>aspect</span> <span m='101920'>of</span> <span m='102050'>mental</span> <span m='102400'>illness</span> <span m='103500'>and</span> <span m='104260'>there's</span> <span m='104480'>a</span> <span m='104520'>variety.</span> </p><p><span m='105430'>So</span> <span m='105750'>I</span> <span m='105820'>got</span> <span m='105990'>another</span> <span m='106340'>master's</span> <span m='106750'>degree</span> <span m='107020'>in</span> <span m='107100'>social</span> <span m='107470'>work,</span> <span m='108190'>which</span> <span m='108580'>allows</span> <span m='109040'>me</span> <span m='109350'>to</span> <span m='109800'>work</span> <span m='110110'>in</span> <span m='110310'>a</span> <span m='110370'>variety</span> <span m='111170'>of</span> <span m='111250'>settings</span> <span m='112100'>with</span> <span m='112450'>lots</span> <span m='112950'>of</span> <span m='113050'>different</span> <span m='113330'>kinds</span> <span m='113620'>of</span> <span m='113690'>people.</span> <span m='114150'>But</span> <span m='114550'>my</span> <span m='114820'>internship</span> <span m='116811'>was</span> <span m='117260'>actually</span> <span m='118000'>at</span> <span m='118140'>a</span> <span m='118190'>psychiatric</span> <span m='118780'>hospital.</span> <span m='119470'>And</span> <span m='119640'>that's</span> <span m='119870'>how</span> <span m='120300'>I</span> <span m='120590'>actually</span> <span m='121170'>fine</span> <span m='121520'>tuned</span> <span m='121750'>my</span> <span m='121960'>interest</span> <span m='122360'>and</span> <span m='122550'>became</span> <span m='122880'>a psychiatric</span> <span m='123330'>social</span> <span m='123655'>worker.</span> </p><p><span m='125210'>So</span> <span m='125920'>as</span> <span m='126200'>you're</span> <span m='126400'>studying</span> <span m='127330'>and</span> <span m='127580'>you're</span> <span m='127790'>in</span> <span m='127920'>school,</span> <span m='129090'>I</span> <span m='129240'>think</span> <span m='129479'>it's</span> <span m='129650'>really</span> <span m='130110'>important,</span> <span m='131150'>as</span> <span m='131330'>you</span> <span m='131620'>contemplate</span> <span m='132370'>what</span> <span m='132670'>job</span> <span m='133160'>you</span> <span m='133300'>want</span> <span m='133550'>to</span> <span m='133640'>do,</span> <span m='135200'>be</span> <span m='136180'>curious</span> <span m='137280'>and</span> <span m='138400'>really</span> <span m='139880'>open</span> <span m='140220'>up</span> <span m='140370'>your</span> <span m='140510'>mind</span> <span m='141340'>and</span> <span m='141830'>be</span> <span m='142070'>curious</span> <span m='142540'>about</span> <span m='142880'>all</span> <span m='143190'>the</span> <span m='143270'>possibilities</span> <span m='144440'>that</span> <span m='144600'>exist.</span> <span m='145120'>Talk</span> <span m='145420'>to</span> <span m='145530'>people,</span> <span m='146190'>read,</span> <span m='147330'>go</span> <span m='147980'>and</span> <span m='148650'>find</span> <span m='149160'>things</span> <span m='149430'>that</span> <span m='149530'>you're</span> <span m='149730'>interested</span> <span m='150290'>and</span> <span m='150660'>find</span> <span m='151070'>out</span> <span m='151180'>how</span> <span m='151430'>you</span> <span m='151560'>can</span> <span m='151710'>do</span> <span m='151860'>it</span> <span m='151970'>professionally.</span> <span m='152540'>Just</span> <span m='152800'>be</span> <span m='152970'>curious.</span> <span m='153660'>Ask</span> <span m='154100'>lots</span> <span m='154440'>of</span> <span m='154580'>questions</span> <span m='156210'>and</span> <span m='158470'>try</span> <span m='158900'>not</span> <span m='159130'>to</span> <span m='161850'>come</span> <span m='162150'>to</span> <span m='162320'>an</span> <span m='162430'>answer</span> <span m='162810'>too</span> <span m='163020'>quickly.</span> </p><p><span m='163520'>There is</span> <span m='163860'>so</span> <span m='164560'>much</span> <span m='164800'>information.</span> <span m='166740'>You</span> <span m='167030'>live in</span> <span m='167220'>a</span> <span m='167250'>huge</span> <span m='167790'>world</span> <span m='168570'>and</span> <span m='168720'>there's</span> <span m='168930'>so</span> <span m='169880'>much</span> <span m='170660'>interesting</span> <span m='171470'>and</span> <span m='171590'>valuable</span> <span m='172120'>information.</span> <span m='172580'>So</span> <span m='173910'>don't</span> <span m='174410'>narrow</span> <span m='174990'>your</span> <span m='175260'>options</span> <span m='176670'>immediately.</span> <span m='177620'>Live</span> <span m='178150'>and</span> <span m='178390'>let your</span> <span m='179750'>information</span> <span m='180400'>come</span> <span m='180770'>so that</span> <span m='181070'>when</span> <span m='181310'>you</span> <span m='181410'>make</span> <span m='181770'>a</span> <span m='181840'>decision</span> <span m='182440'>about</span> <span m='182830'>your</span> <span m='183070'>career,</span> <span m='184020'>it</span> <span m='184250'>resonates</span> <span m='184840'>with</span> <span m='185010'>you.</span> </p>","file":{"id":255723,"video_id":"2701282620001","name":"69214135","duration":186410,"thumbnail_url":null}});