Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Social Work Nights

Tonight I was on call to respond to psychiatric emergencies. I'm only trained to assess children and teenagers. But tonight I got to follow along to assess an adult. I admit that sometimes I struggle to feel like I engage with adults. At least, adults who are not the parents of the children I work with. But there is something about being there for someone who is in crisis. I didn't get to spend a lot of time with this man tonight. But I felt very deeply for him and I hope this was evident in how I spoke and interacted with him. I know a little of what it is like to feel like your life is out of control. Tonight I prayed that he found some peace.

Just now I responded to a call for a 16 year old who was suicidal. Most people think a suicidal 16yr old girl is "just being dramatic" or "looking for attention". I can't emphasize how dangerous this line of thinking can be. This young girl had every reason to feel helpless and hopeless. She is the "co-parent" of her 8 year old brother while her mother works 2 jobs to support the family. She doesn't feel like her mother is available to really listen to her. And to top it off, her first boyfriend killed himself 3 weeks ago. Just days after they'd had a fight and broken up. I can only imagine the incredible confusion, guilt, and anguish of this young girl. She said she had no intention of hurting herself - she just needs a break from everyone who wants to talk, but never just listen to her. I didn't recommend that she go to the hospital - I recommended that she get someone to talk to. I prayed that she would also find peace, but that she would know she is not alone.

Being a social worker is such a priveledge in my mind. I am priveledged to meet these people - because it helps to remind me how much God has given me. It means tht I should respond by trying to bring some of those blessings to others. I pray for strength and wisdom as I try to do so.

3 comments:

  1. Great post!

    Being on-call can be tough sometimes but so many times its great to help someone in a great time of need!

    Keep it up!

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  2. I completely agree - I actually really enjoy crisis work. In a "heart-pounding-pray-for-wisdom" kind of way. :)

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  3. Looks like social work is your calling. You are doing an excellent job.I am a teacher and a volunteer in the social work sector.Often than not, souls tend to underestimate the power of listening.'Listening' is such a powerful tool that could help one battle adversities.Once again, what you are doing is highly commendable.You are a blessed soul in my eyes :)

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