If you’ve been practicing as a social worker or mental health professional, you’ll know that no two cases are the same. The nuances of each situation and the specific needs of every client require a customized treatment plan that will ensure effective relief.
While mainstream treatment plans often tend to address the majority populations, it’s just as important to address the needs of special populations. In fact, it’s these vulnerable populations that require the most attention.
What are special populations?
Legally, special populations are those groups that are disadvantaged on the basis of mental or physical impairments, economic conditions, and minorities. Most often, racial and ethnic minorities, children, the elderly, those with mental or physical disabilities, veterans, and people living in poverty are considered special populations.
These subgroups can include veterans, older adults, or religious minorities. In any case, the opportunities available to individuals in these groups are scarce. With limited access to facilities and greater vulnerability, these at-risk populations have often borne the brunt of their circumstances.
Why should you cater to their needs?
As a mental health professional, it’s important to remember that the road to recovery isn’t the same for everyone. While majority groups are able to access and benefit from more generalized treatments, special populations’ varied life experiences may hinder their progress.
The vulnerability experienced by different populations can be attributed to various causes. Traditional healthcare systems lack the tools necessary to provide these populations the preventative and curative interventions they need to flourish in life.
A study found that 12.6 percent of homeless people struggled with alcohol use disorders. This hints to the increased vulnerability of special populations to extraneous factors. With a greater susceptibility to mental health and substance use disorders, it becomes doubly important to reach these people.
Catering to their needs through tailored programs will ensure their varied needs are met. Mental health professionals, thus, need to continue expanding their knowledge to make their practice more holistic.
As a mental health professional, Continuing Education and training can equip you with the tools you need to offer the help these groups need. Learning about cultural competency, for example, will prepare you to deal with ethnic and religious minority groups that are most vulnerable.
At E Care Behavioral Health Institute, we believe learning never ends. As a mental health counselor or social worker, you have to address the needs of all your varying clients. Quality care can only be provided when you have a sound understanding of their experiences.
Register for our training for professional counselors or CEUs for Mental Health Professionals to get started. Our informative recorded and live webinars are a great source for polishing your skills and continuing to learn about the changing times.
E Care Behavioral Health Institute is committed to making social work ceu webinars economically and conveniently available to mental health professionals through distance learning programs.
Browse through our collection of webinars geared toward special populations.