Introductory Guide to Military Social Work
By Kaitlin Louie
Military social workers work with active military service members and veterans to help them address and manage the social, emotional, psychological, and familial challenges they may face as a result of their job. Military social workers also provide counseling and support to the families of current and former service members, and can work in a wide array of settings ranging from military bases and medical facilities to VA Centers.
Active and former military personnel can face unique psychological and emotional challenges due to their profession, including but not limited to isolation, anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. They may also experience socioeconomic, familial, and/or behavioral problems such as unemployment and financial hardship, marital conflicts, isolation from social circles, and substance abuse. Military social workers help their clients address these issues through a combination of individual and/or family counseling, resource navigation services, education, and the development of programs and initiatives aimed specifically at serving military professionals and their families.
Military social workers can work as embedded social workers within active military units, and can even serve as Active or Reserve Duty personnel within a unit. They can also work in civilian settings with military members who are off duty or veterans who are coping with the trauma of their past work. Typically, military social workers begin their career working closely with individuals and families, and as they gain more experience, they can progress to leadership and administrative positions, such as program managers and directors of psychological health.
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Compiler: Fateme Mohammady
Published on the specialized media of Iranians social work