Briefly describe a contemporary social problem of concern or interest to you. Why does this problem deserve public attention and resources? Recommend a course of action for social change. There are many social problems affecting the world that should be of concern. There are a few specific social problems that are near and dear to me. One of these problems is the epidemic we have, with not effectively treating Mental Health. There are so many problems in our society revolving around Mental Health.
In this country, we have the tools, knowledge, and means to battle this problem, but we lack the staff and money to help bridge the gap.
There is still a large percentage of people in this country that still don’t believe mental health is equally important, if not more important than physical health. Many people still don’t make the connection that our mental health is the nucleus of our overall physical health. If even these reasons aren’t valid, we can turn to the economic toll mental health takes on our country.
When we have people in society that are not getting the treatment that they need, it puts a financial burden on the economy. This problem is important to me because I have suffered from mental health issues for many years. Living with the inability to consistently control your emotions was very hard to grow up with. Instead of someone giving it a neutral name like a “Deep Feeler”, for someone who is highly emotional, or feels more deeply than others, I was called a “Dramatic Crybaby”.
Establishing a negative name for what I was going through as a child, causing a negative self-reflection when it comes to emotions. Years later I learned that I suffer from Major Depression Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The rest is still undetermined, but maybe if we stop criticizing people for being different and start trying to embrace the differences we can save a lot of people from a lot of emotional stress. With enough practice at treating with the intent to understand, maybe one day we won’t have a mental health social problem. Another social problem that causes me a lot of emotional stress is Animal Abuse and Animal Cruelty. Animal abuse and cruelty are inflicting abuse, neglecting, or causing death to an animal. There appear to be two types of animal cruelty, passive and malicious. A passive abuser is more likely to neglect an animal without the basic necessities to live. A malicious abuser intentionally causes harm to an animal. Both passive and malicious abuse is illegal. It has been over 200 years since Animal Rights have been officially established, but it is still occurring all the time. Animals are entitled to their own set of rights that ensure they have possession of their own lives and should be granted similar interests as us.
In my own personal life, I have witnessed a couple of animal abuse incidents. Although I took the appropriate action that is considered lawful, the animal still died due to the neglect of its owner. At this time, I was unsure if I was more infuriated at the owner, or at the “lawful” system that failed to do what it was created for. Instead of sharing posts on Facebook about the sad stories, we should be rallying to change or refine the lawful animal abuse systems in practice that don’t seem to help. Educating people about animal abuse and animal rights should be more than the same sad commercial played every hour, that most people change the channel from. No human wants to feel like the “bad guy”, so making educational videos that can help actually educate the lawful and unlawful, right and wrong way to treat animals, instead of bombarding them with something that makes them put up their defenses. A lot of people have never had the experience of growing up with animals, and become unsure of how to act, or even scared around them. Implementing animals in classrooms and educational settings can help set a foundation for a more knowledgeable society.
Incorporating animals into therapy sessions and educational groups gives animals the chance to receive the proper care and social interaction that they need, as well as teach people and children on the correct and lawful ways to treat animals. This would establish Animal Rights Advocates from a young age. These two social problems are just two that I am very passionate about. I feel both Mental Health and Animal Abuse/Rights are what have really made me consider down the path of Animal-Assisted Social Work. The understanding of how much being around animals has had such a positive impact on my own mental health is what makes me want to share it with others. These problems are big problems in society, and big problems take big changes. It won’t be easy and it will take some time, but big changes take a lot of small changes first. We have to start somewhere by being the voice for those who can’t speak.
Briefly describe a situation that presented you with an ethical challenge or that called for a difficult judgment on your part. What was the outcome of your decision, and what did you learn from the experience? (Please disguise the identities of people and organizations that may have been involved.) An ethical challenge is when you are faced with a decision between two or more choices, to which one must choose the most ethical option. There are often a large number of ethical challenges that medical professionals have to make. Social Workers practicing at a medical facility often help these medical professionals with making the right judgment call for the ethical challenge. A judgment call is a choice that you or a team of professionals have to make when faced with a difficult ethical challenge. Medical facilities are not the only places that judgment call needs to be made. Social Workers who work on child welfare cases have to make judgment calls all the time.
They have to weigh the pros and cons of each side of the ethical challenge to make the best judgment call for the child’s welfare. Sometimes we have to make judgment calls for ethical challenges in our own lives. Several years ago I had to make my own judgment call for an ethical challenge that I was faced with. In 2011 I made a really good friend named “Adam” through mutual friends of ours. Our friendship was a close bond that went on for a couple of years. We were there for each other through all of the great times, as well as all of the bad. Adam and I both shared our deep love for animals. We also both suffered from very similar mental health disorders. Although our friendship was unbreakable, Adam’s mother was a huge rift in our relationship. For many years Adam and his mom dealt with their problems by self-prescribing opioids and a range of amphetamines. At the time I was unaware of this. Adam seemed normal, but his mom was hard to be around. By taking these medications often in large quantities she would sporadically display symptoms of Mania Bipolar Disorder. One moment she would be easy going and happy and the next she would whirl into a manic rage at anyone and everyone.
There were many times I can recall the police having to dispatch to keep the peace in the house. One of these incidents his mother flew into a manic rage and lashed out at me and my younger brother. She began hitting me, and my car as I was trying to put my brother in his car seat to leave. This day was a very traumatizing incident for both me and my brother. After the dust had settled I was faced with my own ethical challenge. I had to make a judgment call to either distance myself from Adam and his mother to save both my mental and physical health, or try to continue being friends with Adam and potentially threaten my own safety and mental stability. The judgment call I made was to distance myself. Although I was able to regain control over my mental stability and physical wellbeing, I lost a really great friend. I learned the difficult lesson that sometimes you have to choose yourself. You can’t always give your all to everyone. Sometimes you have to put your own mental health first. It has been almost four years and I still keep my distance from Adam and his mother, but as it turns out I’ve heard that Adam and his mom have been sober for two years now. 5.(Answer this item only if it applies to you.)
Are there any special circumstances that have affected your academic history and which should be considered by the Admissions Committee? In elementary school, I remember all of my classmates loved to read books. Every Thursday the whole class would make a trip to the library to check out books. Books that we read were met with a reward system. Each book you were able to finish reading, you received a point. The more difficult the book, the higher number of points. At the end of the month, the top kids who had the most points received extra recess time and pizza parties. Unfortunately, I can’t recall a single time I was able to reap these rewards. It wasn’t until later in my life that I found that I had a slower processing rate than my classmates. In middle school, I became extremely concerned with fitting in.
I used to think that this was a normal way of thinking. In middle school, I was also diagnosed with Attention Deficient Disorder. I didn’t understand back then what that meant. All I knew was that I had a hard time concentrating on a lot of things, especially reading and taking tests. I recall worrying heavily about bad grades, my performance during sports, and pleasing my parents and teachers. Growing up I would be distraught over any criticism. The fear of failure kept me from pushing my boundaries. Throughout my schooling, I became a very cautious person. In high school when I stopped taking medication for my ADD it really showed in my grades how hard it was for me to focus on doing well. Once I didn’t make a great grade on a test or assignment, I felt like I was a failure at everything.
I began to lose interest in school as a whole. After an up and down battle with losing interest, and then trying to regain control over my failing grades, I began to develop panic attacks. In the middle of a class, my chest would get tight, I would instantly have a hard time breathing, and I would have the feeling of being trapped. Even today I still have a very hard time going to any type of place or event with crowds of people. It is difficult to go to concerts, busy restaurants, and even shopping for groceries. I still have the same symptoms of a tight chest, labored breathing, and the feeling of not being able to escape, but through therapy and grounding techniques I have been learning how to cope with it. All of these problems definitely make any academics harder, but I use my personal experiences and techniques to help and teach others that it is still possible to succeed.