SPOTLIGHT

Jamie, Social Worker

For me it’s really about hearing other people’s stories and listening to what they have to say. I’m with a sort of newish initiative where I work with family doctors who don’t have support in terms of a health team. I provide mental support including being the first introduction point to mental health care services. So listening to people’s stories, getting an idea of what they need and connecting them with other services or brief support. Often it’s with people who have never had mental involvement before or who have never experienced mental health issues. It’s getting them connected and having them understand what’s available to them.

They get connected to me from their family doctors and it’s like “call this person for mental health support”. It’s kind of amazing how much people will open up and stuff, and it sort of shows how much that personal connection is important to people. A lot of what I do is providing education around things like options and what’s available in terms of mental health care. It’s things you can technically Google, but I think having that person communicate it, it’s sort of key to why my job exists.

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I’ve spent maybe seven years at a job where I really didn’t have to speak to anybody and I was in a cave. To go from that to being a person who has to market themselves and get people to like them in order to get hired, it’s a whole new world for me.

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I’ve spent maybe seven years at a job where I really didn’t have to speak to anybody and I was in a cave. To go from that to being a person who has to market themselves and get people to like them in order to get hired, it’s a whole new world for me.

People don’t usually realize this, but oral care or the oral system has a really big connection to the stomach system as well. If we don’t have a good oral care/hygiene, that can affect the systemic problem. For example, there are studies that show if you have a bad mouth, bad gingivitis or bad gum disease, it can  link to cardiovascular disease or even diabetes. People don’t realize that.