By Brina Down  MSW, RSW (SK)

Social Worker, Saskatoon Health Region

For many, social work is seen as a profession that provides services to the poor or services to protect children. In Saskatoon Health Region, social workers provide unique and distinct services in a variety of settings. 

RR-2016-03-16-Social-Work-Week_posterSocial workers in Mental Health and Addictions provide counselling and support. In Primary Health, social workers act as educators, program facilitators and group liaisons. In acute and long term care,  social workers provide support to patients and families, helping them through difficult times, assisting with navigating the complex health care system, mediating and problem solving, and liaising with the interprofessional team. Social workers are members of the teams working in clinics, outpatient areas and outreach programs providing crucial resources, support and community connections.  Social workers assist with program development, policy construction and strategic planning.

Social workers are critical thinkers and are aware that every client’s needs are unique. We work to understand a person within the context of his or her environment. It is our job to assess each situation and to work with our clients to find a solution, be it through policy analysis, advocacy, therapy, consultation, community networking or some other creative possibility.

Social workers are faced with complex challenges and our days are often unpredictable and can be chaotic. Social workers are skilled in rising to the challenge to assist clients to meet their needs. We are comfortable in dealing with the unknown, working quickly and adjusting to patient cues. Social workers are armed with specialized knowledge, theory, a wide repertoire of assessment and treatment skills.

March 13 to 19 is Social Work Week, a time to acknowledge and thank those in our Region who do such amazing work. Social work is a profession of dedicated individuals who work hard to improve the health of our communities and those with in them. During the week, social workers throughout the Region will be creating visibility through door decorating and other site specific activities. This week, seek out the social workers in your area talk to them about their work and thank them for all that they do.