Learn to Help and Heal Through Community Services
Have you ever considered using your natural talents to help someone in need? Do you have skills that can benefit other people who require assistance with certain mental health issues? Would you like to contribute to your community as a positive influence? If you’re interested to make a difference, getting involved in community services could be the perfect outlet for you.
Community services is a specialised field in the social sector. This involves individuals or groups that are engaged in organised activities for the betterment of the local, national, or global community. The range of community services that you can work in is very wide and it can be a rewarding job. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on providing counselling services to at-risk members of the community.
Community services through counselling can be in the form of a support group, or a self-help group, where people with similar problems or concerns can meet, talk and exchange opinions. You can help people work through their personal problems and manage their mental health concerns so they can improve their situation in life.
To be a community service worker, you need to inherently possess or develop the following abilities in order to perform your duties as a counsellor effectively.
1. Be empathetic
This is an essential skill that helps you to relate to other people’s feelings so you can understand what they’re going through. By showing empathy, clients will feel more comfortable opening up to you so you can offer better assistance.
2. Practise patience
Clients who seek counselling are struggling to cope with their issues. It takes time for them to make changes in their lives that will help them. Sometimes, they may not be ready to accept what they need to work on. This can be frustrating but as a community service worker, you need to be patient and help them work through it.
3. Maintain professionalism
Always set professional boundaries between the client and yourself. Don’t share too much of your own personal stories with clients and avoid forming friendships with them. Getting too close may lead to privacy issues that may put both of you in an unsafe situation.
4. Earn their trust
As a community service counsellor, you are expected to provide a safe space for the client to discuss their concerns where they won’t be judged. It’s important to show that you are trustworthy, especially since you are dealing with sensitive and private information.
5. Be flexible
Community service isn’t your typical regular job so be prepared for shifting work schedules, including weekends. You might also need to travel for client visitations.
While these traits will provide you with a good foundation for community service work, you’ll also need professional training so you can learn and apply tried-and-tested techniques for counselling.
Examples of Community Services
There is a high demand for the following community services, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Researchers have noted that from 2020-21, there has been a significant increase in psychological distress and the use of mental health services. These are just some examples where your talents and skills can be put to good use.
Community Mental Health
This deals with clients who are suffering from mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. You need to have a solid background and understanding of common mental health illnesses. You must also know how to identify the symptoms and apply the correct treatment.
To do this, you have to undergo community mental health courses in order to obtain a community mental health worker certificate. Take note that you are not allowed to issue prescriptions for medication but you can make recommendations for the client to see a licensed practitioner so they can get the appropriate medical attention.
Domestic and Family Violence Support
Victims of domestic and family violence need to process the trauma that they’re going through. As a support worker, you must know how to respond to their situation, learn the proper intervention techniques, manage anger issues, and provide a safe platform for communication for both adults and children.
You can develop these significant skills through certified training programmes for domestic and family violence support. This should equip you with the in-depth knowledge and understanding of child and adolescent psychology and mental health disorders as well as counselling techniques for families, relationships, and crisis situations.
Unresolved anger issues may escalate to violent incidents. If you want to be a community services worker in this field, you’ll need the proper training such as anger management counselling online courses. This will provide you with insights about the nature and scope of anger, what triggers it, and what underlying mental health issues may be involved. You’ll also learn the best strategies in counselling the client on how to improve their response to manage their anger.
Couples who are struggling to maintain their relationship may need to address issues that they’re not aware of. As a relationship counsellor, you must learn to assess what these issues are and help them apply certain techniques on how to resolve them. You must also have a keen understanding on whether the relationship is toxic — to the point of being abusive — as this may require legal intervention.
Relationship counselling online courses will help you gain the knowledge and develop the skills needed to work in various fields such as couples therapy, family counselling or domestic and family violence support.
Losing one’s job. Death of a loved one. A life-changing accident. Some people have a hard time dealing with a crisis in their lives and they need all the help they can get. As a certified support worker in this field, your responsibility is to help guide them through these challenging situations. Crisis counselling online courses are available for you to learn effective counselling and intervention methods. You’ll also learn how to assist clients in using strategies that can help them manage their strained mental health.
Online courses and programs in Australia
Working in community services can serve as a stepping stone towards a variety of job opportunities in psychology, social work, and other health care professions. If you’re interested to pursue a fulfilling career in this field, the next best step would be to sign up for online courses that will provide you with certified training in community services.
Courses4Me offers an extensive array of in-depth learning modules developed by industry experts for the following community services counselling courses:
- Community mental health
- Domestic and family violence support
- Working with youth and children at risk
- Offender rehabilitation support
- Anger management counselling
- Drug and addiction support
- Relationship counselling
- Crisis counselling
- Criminal psychology
- Life coaching
- Abnormal psychology