The sad news of Robin Williams’ suicide this week has raised the profile of the impact severe depression and substance and alcohol misuse can have on people.
Challenging the stigma associated with mental health problems and making sure people get access to the right support is a vital part of our role as social workers.
The understanding we have of what it feels like on a day to day basis for the people we work with can help make sure the appropriate support is in place for people to get them through the toughest of times.
I am working with the sector to consider ways in which all social workers can have more training in mental health and be able to respond effectively to people’s needs, in general adult social care and community services, as well as specialist mental health services.
Social workers can also help people access psychological therapies, so knowing about these services and supporting people to find support when they need it is really important.
In the meantime, if you, your friends or family need to talk to someone, please consider contacting one of the organisations below for information, advice and support: