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Caseworker---Mental Health

Mark McIlroy

Tell us about your work -- what do you do? I am a caseworker working with the chronically mentally ill at a health center in the inner city. Most of my clients have schizophrenia and/or depression . I work with about 30 clients daily. What skills are needed? Patience , positive attitude , common sense , some knowledge with medications and social skills training. What was your major? Bachelor of Arts in psychology and 30 hours of graduate work in education counseling . How did you get started in your career? A friend recommended the job and said it suited my major. What experience do you need in this job? A degree preferably in psychology, and a couple of years of experience group counseling and individual counseling with this population. A degree as a recreational therapist is a plus. Describe your "typical" workday: I teach group therapy groups, social skills , daily living skills and integration into the community. What is the hardest aspect of your job? Knowing the clients will not get much better. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? The respect the clients have for me and knowing I am making a difference (even though small) in their lives. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? Make sure you have good social skills, people skills, patience, book knowledge, common sense, a good teacher, and like a lot of paperwork. You can't get rich in this field either!