The School Of Social Work

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When I applied to the School of Social Work I did not have research in my mind. For me research was something that was conducted by hard science. I never put any thought as to how programs and community development initiatives came into fruition. I thought that being a social worker involved working with clients and advocating to elicit change in their lives. The introduction course, 1710, that all students had to take before being able to apply to the School of Social Work covered briefly the roles of social workers, not mentioning research. As I entered into my first year of Social work my perceptions started to change. I realized that there was so much more to social work than just working with clients. Through the courses that I was enrolled in, talking with the professors and taking extra training courses I was able to realize that social workers were involved in social justice, community development, politics, and research. Even though there was talk about research throughout my other courses the importance of it was never emphasized. It is only now in the past few weeks of the course Applied Research and Evaluation for Social Work Practice that I am realizing the significance of research and the impact it can make. I strongly feel that the research course should be taught earlier in the program to ensure that students have a grasp on the importance of literature reviews, academic research and academic integrity when working on other projects. Up until this year I never thought formal academic research would play a role in my future life as a professional social worker. I thought I was going to go through the program and work with people in mental health and addictions. This semester has changed my perception; I have reali... ... middle of paper ... ...notions on how the lack of resources in rural communities contributes to the overall negative well-being and mental health of its members. Conclusion It is crucial to analyze the impacts that the lack of mental health resources has on a rural community. By understanding the impacts and how they affect community members we as social workers can start to implement plans and policies which allows for easier access to resources. We can use our positions of power to fight for change and be a voice in an often silenced and stigmatized community. We can also work with the community members to make a cohesive plan of how to implement supportive resources, based on their needs and wants. By working together in a community there is a strength in numbers, this alone will allow for the silence to be broken and stigma to start to dissipate, allowing for their needs to be heard.
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