In alignment with National Social Work Month’s 2023 theme, Social Work Breaks Barriers, Stefani, Victoria and Yekta are sharing how they’re breaking barriers for our clients and community.
Here’s what they said:
Victoria | Case Manager, Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) South West
As a social worker, the most important thing I do is believe in my clients. When clients feel that I truly hear and understand them and they witness me advocating for them, they start to believe in themselves and start to fight for themselves as well.
Our systems of health and social services can be extremely difficult to navigate. As a social worker, I help my clients find appropriate services, make individualized plans to access the care they need, and create a step-by-step plan with each client so that they feel less overwhelmed. Sometimes the services that are needed are not available or are difficult to access, leading me to advocate for my clients so that they can access relevant services. When clients have their basic needs met, there is less stress for the client and more room for healing.
Stefani | Mental Health Educator, Community Connections
My position as a Mental Health Educator with Community Connections at CMHA has been a journey that lays out like an obstacle course. Each day provides me with a new challenge, both personally and professionally. By accepting each challenge, I make choices that impact positive change and show that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Most recently, I designed a course for our CMHA College of Health & Well-Being which allows clients to recognize the power of becoming a Mental Health Warrior. In the past few weeks, I have seen frowns become smiles, silence become feedback and feelings of hopelessness become motivation.
Thanks to my roots in social work, my empathetic approach, along with motivational training, I am able to complete my obstacle course one challenge at a time.
Yekta | Case Manager, H.O.P.E. Early Psychosis Intervention
There is a lot to consider when you start to think about every possible barrier that our clients and community face when it comes to accessing mental health support. The most common barriers are stigma, discrimination, lack/cost of services and language to name a few. In order to break barriers, I believe that ongoing transparency and inclusion are very important. Providing clients with the opportunity to experience collaborative processes when working with us is significant. It is paramount to honour individual experiences and worldviews while at the same time, addressing the impact of their past and present traumas.
Thank you to all of our awesome CMHA staff who are working hard to break down barriers and create innovative solutions to contribute to our mission of Mental Health for All.