The Role of a Social Worker in the Treatment of Patients With Mental Disorders

Vesna Huremović, Samra Mahmutović


Among the key determinants of the profession of social work is the provision of assistance andempowerment of people with mental health disorders. The fact that social workers meet with patientsdiagnosed with some forms of mental disorders on a daily basis needs to find the most appropriateapproach to improve the quality of life of the patients, which places social workers on new challengesthat they will try to respond in the coming period. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the role ofsocial workers in dealing with patients with mental disorders, the most commonly encountereddifficulties and the most important of their resources in dealing with these patients. Social workers areincreasingly recognized as important members of the team, working with people with various forms ofmental disorders. The implementation of social work in health care institutions is very often closelyrelated to social psychiatry, most often in the area of sociocultural processes and mental illness. Socialworkers are obliged to provide expert opinion to the patient and his / her family and to show appropriateskills in the intervention of social relations between the patient and the family. Social contact withpersons with mental disorders should take place in the direction of reducing the negative attitude of theenvironment, eliminating stigmatizing factors. Based on this, we can expect significantly better resultsin recognizing the disease and early diagnosis, treatment and ultimate outcome of better qualityintegration of people with mental disorders in the society. Particularly important integration componentin the environment is work. Functional functioning is the fundamental basis of psychiatric rehabilitationas it promotes activity and social contacts, as well as self-esteem and quality of life, leading to socialintegration and independence, which is one of the essential components for successful recovery of thepatient. The discussion on this topic seeks to contribute to the further strengthening of the professionalidentity of social work, which is currently unfavorable, giving this profession an inadequate role withina relatively narrow space between administrative and psychosocial action.


person with mental disorders; multidisciplinary approach; social worker

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