During this academic break, I told myself that I would take a step away from research, but no. At this level, there is no way to get away from it. I find myself reading posts, watching videos, thinking I am randomly selecting content. Ha! Right back to my research I go.
Journey to Social Work
So, I started this journey thinking I would work with veterans facing challenges with co-occurring disorders, and while I work with a handful of veterans from time to time, it is nothing like what I originally planned. I had a horrible experience with a social worker at one of the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, and I decided to be the change I wanted to see.
Narrowing the Focus
So, fast forward, I have been volunteering with individuals, groups, and communities to provide assessments, treatment planning, and both, group and individual therapy. I love it. Now, if you’re looking for a field or career with quick fixes, this is not it. Mental health and substance abuse challenges involve a roller coaster ride that can send you through loops, steady climbs, and swift falls. In order to support clients facing these challenges, you must have your own support team and a solid self-care plan. I still love it.
Youth and Young Adults
My specific research includes understanding substance abuse, addiction, and other drug-related challenges while working towards developing innovative practices that engage and support youth and young adults facing barriers to treatment or disinterest in current programs and interventions. The population focus centers around rural and urban youth between the ages of 14 and 25. The benefit of continuing to do the research assists in viewing the information I gather from multiple standpoints. This has helped me recognize my biases and view the information from a different angle.
So, as I continue this wonderful journey, I will share my findings with you. Please share your comments, questions, suggestions, and feedback. Let’s create change.