Licensed Clinical Social Workers are trained to help individuals overcome mental health and substance abuse challenges by providing counseling, support, and advocacy. Social Workers help to provide the tools and resources necessary that individuals need to become self-sufficient and reintegrate back to the community.
Licensed Clinical Social Workers practice in many different settings such as hospitals, mental health clinics, substance abuse programs, and vocational settings to name a few. They may also be in private practice. While many people with a mental illness are able to function in society, they may still need additional supports and therapy to address their mental health challenges. One of the roles of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker is to help clients manage their mental health issues through counseling, and assist them in getting on medication which can help to address their psychiatric symptoms and behaviors. The Licensed Clinical Social Worker may also provide counseling services to the patient’s family and provide education and support in dealing with challenges that arise in the family system when a family member has a mental illness.
A Licensed Clinical Social Worker may help the patient reach their goals through one-on-one counseling or group therapy sessions, or both. The goal is to help the patient identify problems and develop healthy coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with issues as they arise. In some cases, the patient may be referred, to a supportive housing program in order for the individual to achieve greater independence and community integration.
Thea Jandzio earned a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University and has more than twenty years of experience managing homeless service programs, residential behavioral health programs, food and nutrition services and HIV contracts. She is currently the Executive Program Director of Adult and Family Residential Services for the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in New York.