1. Factors that influenced your decision
I have been working for three years as a case manager at a mental health agency for children. The most important factor in my decision to go into a Master’s program in social work is a desire to help mentally ill individuals obtain a voice in their treatment. .I would like to, once I am done with this program, work on the following issues:
- Increased opportunities for employing people with experience of severe mental illness, most particularly, in mental health services where the experience of mental illness can be valuable in helping people who use mental health services.
- Refinement of social security benefits rules to enable people to move towards work at a pace they can sustain; there are too many disincentives to work at present.
- Providing continuing social and vocational support provided by, for example, day clubs, befrienders, and mentors devoted to improving confidence and social skills.
- The stigma attached to severe mental illness, including, prejudice shown by employers and others, ignorance of the public and fear generated through prejudice and ignorance
.2- What is a pressing social problem in your opinion.
A pressing problem is the underfunding of mental health services. According to the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch of the Federal Center for Mental Health Services, 5 to 10 percent of American children are reported to have serious mental health disorders. About 60 to 70 percent who have mental health disorders do not get the treatment they need. Consequently, children are trapped in institutional settings because of lack of treatment programs in the community.
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