Amy: Mental Health and Social Work

Mental Health is a topic which we, as a society, are now starting to talk about more. Although there is a lot more publicity on it, there is still a huge amount of awareness to be raised. Having worked in a mental health team prior to starting my Social Work Masters, I was well aware of the impact it has on individuals. On a more personal level my partner also has a mental health condition called Borderline Personality Disorder.

So what attracts people who have been through their own ‘stuff’ to this profession of helping others? As the lecturers will tell you, there are lots of theories which can evidence why certain personalities and individuals with life experiences are attracted to such a caring profession. I can only speak about my own pulling factors to the career.

You may ask why I want to go into such an emotionally challenging career. As I have chatted about in my introduction, I fell into social work after my first degree but it was also my partner that spurred me on to train as a Social Worker.

What I have learnt in my previous social care experience, and during my degree so far, has given me a great deal of skills and coping mechanisms. This helps me enormously in other areas of my life. I also think that although this career will be one which is emotionally challenging, it will also one which is hugely rewarding.

I like change and I love a challenge – two things which are definitely part of both my home and university life! Doing this degree has had an impact; financially it has involved dropping my income and emotionally it hasn’t always been easy, especially on my relationship with my partner. But this is just a small price to pay for the rewarding career I hope to go on and have.

This is just a snapshot of my situation and I hope that it has given you a slight insight into what it can be like to study alongside other commitments. It is also really really really important to look after your own mental health when studying, as it is easy to get bogged down with deadlines and stress. The University wellbeing service provides excellent support for students which can be accessed by anyone studying at Anglia Ruskin.

Just three things to take away from this blog…

  1. Make sure your look after your own mental health.
  2. Remember Social Work is a fantastic career no matter your background.

And…

  1. Let’s keep talking about mental health!


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