Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cuppa Care

In my personal life, I have a pretty simple solution for just about every problem in life.  TEA!  When faced with just about any ailment or annoyance, a quick cuppa can help me feel better.  If only I could apply this to social work.

Depressed?  How about a colourful flowering tea to brighten your day?
Feeling anxious? A warm cup of ginger with honey to sooth and take the edge off.
Feeling lonely?  Why not spend some time with your friend Lady Grey?
Can't get to sleep?  Drift off with some chamomile.
Lacking energy and motivation? Some zesty lemon green tea should get you going.
Trouble getting along with the people in your life?  Bond over a boiling pot of chai.
Feeling broke and cold?  Hold that mug in both hands and feel it's warmth.

I mean, the list could go on all day.  If only our work were so simple and delicious.  I'm going to go brew some now!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Up In Smoke

It's got to be one of my least favourite thing about my job - my hair and clothes smelling like smoke after doing home visits*.  Many clients are courteous, and don't smoke while I visit.  Some just find it too difficult to  it though the appointment without smoking.  In summer we often accommodate this by meeting outside.  But it's currently winter here in Canada, and temperatures are too cold for that.

Some job postings in this field state that the candidate should be aware they will be in smoking-environments.  Mine didn't but I've long recognized it as an unavoidable workplace hazard.  Sure, if I really wanted I could try to insist that clients meet me elsewhere, but the home visit plays an important role in my work, puts focus on me rather than the client, and possibly makes them feel guilty.  That's not what I'm trying to do folks.  Besides, it's their room/apartment/house.

Not so fun fact: rates of smoking for people with schizophrenia are estimated at about 88% - three times that of the general population.  And smoking cessation is just not high on the list of goals or priorities for most of my clients, who are busy trying to manage their symptoms, maintain their housing and survive on a few hundred bucks a month.

So until this changes, you'll see my huddled in my big coat and hat, driving with my windows down in winter trying to air myself out.

*not every home visit.  About half my current clients are smokers

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year, New Job

...except it's my old job.  Yep, I'm going back to intake!

I'm looking  forward to seeing new faces on a regular basis.  Also, my case load will be shifting to short term supports instead of long term, so I will be leaving all of my current clients.  I'm not looking forward to that part so much.  Telling client's you are leaving them is never easy, and some of these folks I have worked with for 4+ years.

Wish me luck.