Role of social network and support in mental health service


Application: Creating Community Resources

It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried.

-Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person

Each week of this course highlights the importance of involving clients in their own case management processes. The above quote by Carl Rogers further explains just why client involvement is so crucial. As clients work to assess personal needs and wants, they can also help to identify the ways in which their communities fail to provide them with necessary opportunities for growth. Once these types of resource "gaps" are identified, case managers can begin to advocate for new opportunities.

Case managers can enlist knowledgeable and well-connected people within the community to create opportunities for clients in need. Imagine, for example, that a client is new to using food stamps. A case manager might choose to contact a local grocery store to set up times before or after store hours to educate the client on how to find the best deals and to help the client feel comfortable with using food stamps to pay for purchases. Slowly building client confidence and relationships with grocery store employees will help to further empower the client during shopping trips.

Resources that are created change according to the specific needs and wants of each client. You assess the resource gaps that might be present in your community. You also propose additional resources needed to address your virtual clients' needs.

To Prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review the article, "The Role of Social Network and Support in Mental Health Service Use: Findings From the Baltimore ECA Study." Consider the implications of social support networks for individuals' use of mental and medical health services.
  • Review the article, "Online Support for Caregivers of People With a Mental Illness." Focus on the finding about effects of participation in the self-help group.
  • Review the research you conducted during, in which you located resources and agencies in your community to find assistance for your clients.
  • Review the media titled Creating Resources.
  • Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your community's offerings for your clients.
  • Think about how you might assist your clients by creating or empowering them to create resources to benefit themselves and others who might encounter similar challenges.

The Assignment (1 to 2 pages)

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