Linda Rosenberg, MSW, head of the National Council for Behavioral Health, said at their recent national conference that practitioners’ “unique skills in creating human connections” are fundamental to the system transformations ahead. “High tech is not antithetical to high touch,” she declared.

“High tech is not antithetical to high touch”

In my opinion, clinical social workers are superb at the “high touch” work of “creating human connections”—on a micro level. But the macro challenges are great; and we, as a profession, have never been good at finding our way in the halls of policy and into the conference rooms of healthcare decision-making.

It begins with understanding the nature of the changes that are coming—who’s responsible, where the changes are coming from, what they will probably be. Then we need to put together a plan for addressing them—creating a united front within clinical social work, plugging clinical social workers and our representatives into high-level discussions that call attention to our unique capabilities. That’s our job at ACSWA, as your national professional organization. Your job, in part at least, may be to learn how to apply your skills to the larger health field. We at ACSWA will need your support if we are to take the leadership role that belongs to the majority provider of behavioral healthcare in America.

From where you practice, what do you see as the important micro and macro issues for clinical social work and the larger healthcare system?

 

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