Every year, one in five people in Canada are affected by a mental health problem. This could be depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder (BPD), schizophrenia, or any other disorder that changes how someone thinks, feels, and acts.
As part of a community and developmental service worker program, you will learn how to recognize and help people with personal and social problems like mental health illnesses. Read on to discover some of the ways to support a client struggling with their mental health.
You can help people struggling with mental health by being a good listener
Good Developmental Service Workers Talk It Out with Clients
There’s a reason why some of the most popular therapy methods are focused on talking. As the age-old saying goes, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved.’ After mental health worker training, you may find that giving clients the space to talk about their feelings and what is going on in their lives makes all the difference.
In this situation, your main role is a listener, so you will often need to focus on what the person is saying, and not what advice you can give them or how to respond. You should also understand that it can be very difficult to talk about mental health issues,and you may need to be very patient. It may be weeks or months before a client feels comfortable enough to share their personal experiences.
Even so, the best thing you can do is let them know that you’re there and a willing listener. It can be a great relief for someone struggling with mental health to have their experiences validated.
Graduates of Mental Health Training Courses Learn to Recognize Symptoms
One of the difficulties with mental health is that it’s invisible. Unlike a physical malady like a broken leg or a cold, mental health problems like depression and anxiety are easily hidden.What’s more, everyone experiences mental health problems differently, so the symptoms in one person may be entirely different from the symptoms in another.
After your mental health worker program, you will learn how to spot common issues as you become more familiar with the symptoms. For example, even though mental health is something that mainly affects the mind, the symptoms can also be physical. Someone who is depressed may experience fatigue and sleep long, irregular hours, or they may not sleep at all. If someone is suffering from anxiety, they might also experience panic attacks, short and shallow breathing, and shakes.
In addition, mental health can stop you from being able to do daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and self-care. If you notice that someone is not looking after themselves, it is probably a sign of a deeper problem.
Someone suffering from depression may be unable to look after themselves
Actions You Can Take as a Mental Health Worker
In Canada, it’s estimated that 3 million adults suffer from a mood or anxiety disorder. Even though we can’t see them, mental health struggles are more common than we might think. As a mental health worker, you could offer life-changing care to help someone manage or overcome a mental health illness.
This could involve helping them to develop a plan of action, access medical or financial resources, or referring them to psychiatric help if needed. In doing so, you will play an integral role in the community,and offering emotional and practical support to people when they need it most.
Do you want to find out more about a development service worker diploma?
Contact Oxford College today!