How our social workers can support you

30 June 2022

At Mates4Mates, we offer veterans impacted by service, and their families, specialised services to help manage their mental health, wellbeing and improve their quality of life. This includes the services of social workers across some of our locations.

Alongside psychologists, counsellors and exercise physiologists, social workers provide vital services to Mates and their family members in need of support. Mates4Mates currently have social workers based in the Northern Territory and Tasmania with plans for a social worker to join our Townsville centre.

What is a social worker?

Social workers are qualified practitioners who have completed a minimum of four years of study. Generally, social workers provide professional social work services across a broad area of practice settings including:

  • health (from maternity to palliative care)
  • aged care
  • Guardianship
  • Disability
  • child safety and adoption
  • Defence and veteran support
  • Centrelink and welfare
  • domestic violence
  • youth outreach, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and numerous other settings.

According to the Australian Association of Social Workers, “Social workers act collectively and individually to contribute to society in a way that is dedicated to achieving social justice, inclusion and wellbeing.”

How a social worker can support you

At Mates4Mates, social workers are supporting Mates and family members as Recovery Coordinators, alongside counsellors. This means that they work in consultation with a multidisciplinary team to ensure that veterans and family members are assisted with developing a recovery plan to help improve their overall quality of life. They will ensure that you have access to information and sessions that you need.

Social workers can also provide professional counselling, group work, co-therapeutic casework interventions with psychologists, and assist with the Skills for Recovery Programs offered at Mates4Mates.

Assisting in a veteran’s recovery journey

Social workers can provide Mates and family members with generalist social work interventions such as relationship and family separation support, advice and support with unexpected situational crisis, and adjustment to planned and unexpected lifestyle changes.

Social workers can provide education around healthy lifestyles concepts such as mindfulness, developing resilience, living with diversity, and positive health care planning and bereavement.

They can also assist Mates who may be experiencing, or are at risk of, homelessness, harmful addictions, financial difficulties, and other lifestyle factors such as isolation, stage of life challenges, family reunification, and therapy.

For Mates who require advocacy when engaging with formal services such as government and administrative requirements (I.e., applications and responses to disability support services), social workers can also provide assistance in these cases.

When to see a social worker

A Mate or family member can speak with a social worker anytime about their concerns. It’s better to be informed and supported about your situation at an earlier stage to ensure you make sound decisions that promote recovery and wellbeing during stressful circumstances.

If you are wishing to make an appointment with a Mates4Mates social worker to support your health and wellbeing, please call 1300 462 837 (1300 4 MATES).

Written by Scott Healing, Mates4Mates social worker

  • Mental health
  • Veterans

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