Mental health of Social Workers at Risk

The mental health of social workers is often overlooked, but those looking after people who have experienced traumas in their life are vulnerable to the stresses of their jobs.

An article on the Social Care Network has expressed concerns over the ‘failure’ of the social care sector to look after the mental health of the employees.

Every workday of a social worker brings another series of traumas, abusive behaviours, and often times, guilt caused by an inability to help clients more.

Over time, this can cause a condition known as vicarious traumatisation, which is when a social worker, nurse, or even journalists, are empathise with other people’s traumas on a daily basis, and themselves begin to suffer from the mental impact of it.

This can begin to affect their personal lives, as they begin to suffer with similar symptoms of direct trauma patients, especially an inability to sleep, social withdrawal, aggression, mood swings and difficulties with relationships.

This can have the consequence of generating more sick days for social workers and a loss of enthusiasm for the job, both which will directly impact the ability of the social worker to care for their cases, having a knock on effect of reducing the standard of care for those who need it, their patients.

Many jobs involve a high level of stress, and this can wear away at a person’s mental health until they suffer a burn out or a breakdown. It is important to be aware of your own mental condition, especially if you work in a high stress position as it can affect both you and your work.

If you are suffering from stress or depression, then you shouldn’t fear going to seek aid, as this will only make your situation worse. Courses that teach mindfulness and self-compassion techniques are available throughout the country and have been proved to be a viable way to improve mental health.

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