We, as a society, have not always acknowledged those in need. Nor did we know how to help or provide resources for those less fortunate. The way disabilities were approached was not always the way they were approached in today’s time. In the past there were instances in the Middle Ages, 1500s, and the 18th century where there were major changes in helping those with mental illness.
Unfortunately in the Middle Ages mental illness was feared. Some even attempted to control the demons included chaining, beating, starving, and bleeding the unfortunate human host (National Institute of Mental Health, 1971).
Until the 1500s, the Catholic Church was the one responsible for providing humans services. St. Thomas and St. Frances were known as the first service workers. The Catholic Church founded a lot of institutions for those with disabilities. During this time, different behavior was perceived as a sickness and that is when asylums were established to house those who were labeled as such. (Woodside, M., & McClam, T. (2019). An introduction to human services (9th ed.) Chapter 3.1)
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Towards the end of the 18th century, a huge change in care of those with mental illness occurred. More individuals advocated for a more humane treatment for those with mental illness. In 1792, Philippe Pinel unchained 50 maniacs at Bicetre Hospital in Paris. This was known as the first revolution in mental health. (Macht, 1990)
There have been significant positive changes in helping in the human services field. In the beginning of time there was little acceptance of those with mental illness and disabilities. Over time, people became more aware and more accepting of those who were different and who needed more help. In 1854, the care of the mentally ill became the state’s responsibility which made those who were less fortunate more accessible to resources. This affected on how society’s attitudes changed for the better and shows how far we have come today. (Woodside, M., & McClam, T. (2019). An introduction to human services (9th ed.) Chapter 3.3)
The efficiency of the helping process depends on how effective the skills of the helper are. With great skills from the helper will build a helping relationship between helper and client. The helping process can happen in a formal setting and an informal setting. There are five stages that form that helping process and that includes preparation, the client arrives, exploring the problem, intervention strategies, and ending client services. (Woodside, M., & McClam, T. (2019). An introduction to human services (9th ed.) Chapter 7.1)
Preparation happens before the client arrives and the helper prepares the settings around them. The helper also accesses the information about the client that they already know to prepare on what they might need. Once the client arrives, they should feel accepted and respected in the environment. You also want to establish an “ice breaker’ and make them feel comfortable talking to you so you can hear their perspectives. Exploring the problem is important to keep the client’s perspective in mind. Intervention strategies the helper and the client set goals and figure out how to complete the goals and resolve the problem. Ending client services, which is the final stage of the helping process, is termination of the helping process. This can be either a positive result or an unresolved result. (Woodside, M., & McClam, T. (2019). An introduction to human services (9th ed.) Chapter 7.1)
Two helping skills for the helping process are communication and being empathetic. Having clear and efficient communication skills will go a long way with getting messages across to the client but to also know when to listen and comprehend when they speak. Empathy will allow for you to understand and feel what the client is going through in their time of need. (Woodside, M., & McClam, T. (2019). An introduction to human services (9th ed.) Chapter 7.3)
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A broker helps people get to the existing services and helps make the services more accessible to clients. An advocate pleads and flights for services a, policies, rules, regulations, and laws on behalf of clients. (Woodside, M., & McClam, T. (2019). An introduction to human services (9th ed.) Chapter 2.3)
The top ten groups in my community I feel are Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Hospice, St. Vincent De Paul Society, Lions Club, Boys and Girls Club, Feed my Starving Children, AA meetings, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Greif Recovery Program. These groups have been crucial for my community and brings everyone together to help those in need and work as a group.
I do believe that the field of human services adequately provides for at least two of these groups. The ten groups I listed above serve all different ethnicities, ages, and genders of different people. They provide services to help encourage the young and the old. Red Cross allows those to give and feel accomplished by donating blood. American Cancer Society allows volunteers to help drive patients to their appointments. AA meetings help with guidance and encouragement to stay on the right path and to make sure that you are not alone in this journey. (American Cancer Society | Information and Resources about for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Lung, Prostate, Skin Website title: Cancer.org URL: https://www.cancer.org/)
I have several family and friends that participate in the organizations listed above. Some volunteer as a human service professional and some are the ones that seek help from these groups. I am proud to say we have come so far in our society to be more accepting of those in need. Although, we in America can always approve in our government to help fund for more resources for those in need. Families that are in need of help may feel ashamed or feel that they shouldn’t ask for help, which is something that we need to encourage and normalize for them to do. No one is a hero on their own and like the saying goes “it takes a village”. (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Family Assistance. (n.d.). Help for families (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/help)
- Woodside, M., & McClam, T. (2019). An introduction to human services (9th ed.). Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu
- American Cancer Society | Information and Resources about for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Lung, Prostate, Skin Website title: Cancer.org URL: https://www.cancer.org/)
- (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Family Assistance. (n.d.). Help for families (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/help)
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