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Response 1: The Aging Process


Respond to at least two colleague’s post in one of the following ways:


o   From a strength’s perspective, critique your colleague’s approach to addressing Francine’s case. Provide support for your critique.


o   Critique your colleague’s strategy for applying knowledge of the aging process to work with older clients. Discuss how cultural, ethnic, and societal influences might affect the application of this strategy.


Be sure to support your responses with specific references to the resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.





Colleague 1:BM


As individuals enter the stage of late adulthood, their previous experiences, lifestyle and relationships help determine what, indeed, this stage will entail (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 2016).  In this week’s case study, 70- year-old Francine sought counseling for symptoms of depression, directly related to the loss of her partner of thirty years, Joan (Plummer, Makris and Brocksen, 2014).  Since Francine’s family and  loved ones were unaware of the extent of the the relationship between Francine and Joan, Francine did not have the necessary support as she navigated her way through her grieving process.  She started drinking alcohol more often, after several years of sobriety (Plummer, et. al., 2014).  


It can be assumed that Francine’s relationship with Joan, spanning thirty years, has certainly influenced her aging process.  In long-term relationships, such as this one, individuals identify as being half of a partnership, as opposed to their individual beings (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 2016).  These defining relationships allow for individuals to feel supported and share experiences throughout their daily lives.  This relationship is at the crux of Francine’s being, and although her partner has passed, its value can be utilized to help Francine cope with the loss and navigate through the remainder of her life.  Additionally, Francine’s extensive experience within the workforce will also positively contribute to her aging process.  Throughout these years, Francine’s interaction with people, both professionally and socially, have helped to promote a healthy inner being.  While she may not be feeling sociable after Joan’s passing, referencing her forty year career will be a helpful tool for her clinician.  


The case study mapped out the positive aspects in Francine’s life beautifully.  Despite the depression she is currently experiencing, employing a Strength Based Perspective, focusing on her resiliency, would be an appropriate and effective method to help Francine achieve her most positive outcomes (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 2016). Francine has shown a tremendous capacity throughout her life in identifying and removing the triggers causing harmful behaviors; this awareness resulted in many years of sobriety (Plummer, et. al., 2014).  Furthermore, Francine, despite her current depressive state, has identified the need to combat these harmful behaviors yet again in her later adult life.  Additional strengths possessed by Francine include her willingness to seek treatment, her desire to engage socially within her environment and her involvement in the entire process.  Francine is a prime candidate to achieve the outcomes she is working toward.  It remains the role of the clinician to highlight even the smallest achievements throughout the process, thus emphasizing Francine’s resiliency.  



Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].


Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA:  Cengage Learning.



Colleague 2: SK


Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman (2016) put forward later adulthood is the last segment of the life span; where, aging is an individual process that occurs at different rates in different people. The case of Francine looks at the life changing event of Francine a 70 years old who lost her partner, Joan, who she didn’t quite clarify their relationship to her family and friends because it would label her as being a lesbian. She was experiencing a number of challenges included depression due to her grief, lack of support because her family was not aware of impact that losing her friend caused and alcohol abuse which she had issues with in her early years and have now resurfaced (Plummer, Makris & Brocksen 2014).

Francine’s environment have definitely influenced her aging process as she has spent most of her time with Joan who has been taken from the equation so she is left by herself to adjust to the new norm of being alone, which, may not be healthy for her emotionally and by extension physically. Not having Joan to talk to on a day to day basis will have a psychological impact on her which may contribute to her state of depression and stress; the fact that her relationship was not recognized on a legal or social level for most of her life puts a burden on her as well (how to act). Her environment has changed drastically from having her partner where they were like one to being alone also puts pressure on her as she needs to find different ways to cope and identify as being an individual again. Environmental factors influence the aging process; having no one to talk to and being in a strange environment tend to accelerate this process (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman 2016).

In working with older clients in general I would need to employ strategies that will allow them to use their strengths to aid them in overcoming their problems. Due to the fact that these clients are older one would have to take in account that they have years of knowledge under their belt and that should be merited so as the social worker assess their clients situation they should employ the strength base perspective which would yield more. Active listening should also be applied as it is important that clients see your interest in their case and also restating and confirming important information provided by them. It is often said that with age comes wisdom so it is imperative that social workers use this to their advantage and not build a barrier between them and their client even if their clients seem to act as if they have all the answers but they are sitting in the seat that requires help. Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman (2016) states as people age, their reserve capacities decrease, as a result, older people cannot respond to stressful demands as rapidly as young people..


Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment(10th ed.)Boston, MA:  Cengage Learning.

Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].






Response 2: Mental Health Care


Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.


·      Respond to at least two colleagues by offering strategies for how the challenges your colleagues described should be addressed to ensure better mental health care.


Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.




Colleague 1:DP


hallenges/Gaps in the Mental Health Care System

The mental health care system has many challenges and gaps leaving those with mental illnesses vulnerable, helpless, and oppressed.  The World Health Organization (2004) states, “The country is not very sensitized to mental health issues” (p. 82).  The lack of support from the country overall, is proof of why those with mental health issues cannot get the assistance needed or the funding needed to help better the lives of the community of those who suffer from mental illness.  Other barriers such as mental health interventions are not seen as successful enough to continue seeking that route.  There are certain people who are resistant to change in policies and then an agreement for mental health policies are too few far in between.  There is an insurmountable quantity of people that need to be seen but too few of providers out there to help (World Health Organization, 2004, pp. 82-83).  In the Parker case, the health professional that had discharged the client may have been overwhelmed by the amount of work with the same group of clients or clients with similar issues or the lack of resources that the hospital is unable to provide.  The statement quoted above can also pertain to the health worker because she may not have empathy towards the client(s); therefore showing her lack of respect once they are discharged.


Environmental Stressors


Environmental stressors such as in the Parker case where the Mother was/is hoarding and it has always affected the daughters especially the one that currently lives with her.  The environmental stressor is the relative’s habit.  The stressor agitated the client enough that she was in the hospital multiple times.  The last visit might have been avoided had the treatment been longer or possibly less challenging for the staff.  “Stress also can lead to serious mental health problems, like depression and anxiety disorders” (Mental Health America, n.d.).  The client from the Parker case might have gained a mental health issue due to her environmental stressor(s) at home.




Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Sessions: Parker family (Episode 5 of 42) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Mental Health America. (n.d.). Retrieved October 5, 2016, from http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/how-stress-hurts

World Health Organization. (2004). Mental health policy and service guidance package: Mental health policy, plans and programmes. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mental_health/policy/en/policy_plans_revision.pdf




Colleague 2: RW


After reviewing this week’s resources and the Parker Case, one of the challenges in the mental health field is the “rehospitalization”. In the Parker Case, Stephanie was diagnosed with bipolar as a teenager, and has been hospitalized four times. (Plummer et all, 2014). Stephanie even pointed out in the video that she didn’t believe that she needed to hospitalized as many time as she was (video). Popple & Leighninger, they discuss how rehospitalizations of people with severe diagnosis, such as schizophrenia, are high and even more severe if compounded with health concerns, (2015). This can be classified as a gap in the mental health system because due to the several hospitalizations, it means that it may prolong the process of stabilizing the mental ill, (Popple & Leighninger, 2015). Environmental stressors, such as lack of a support system or living with another individual with a mental illness can also be the cause for people such as Stephanie to be rehospitalized. The lack of support system could be a hindrance because it doesn’t allow the mentally ill to be advocated for, therefore the people, like Stephanie, might feel forced into services and more reluctant to progress in treatment. Another hindrance or stressor could be living with a person with a diagnosis as well. In the Parker family case, Stephanie’s mother is a hoarder, and due to her ways of living she is constantly triggering Stephanie’s bipolar and other negative behaviors, including adding stress to their relationship. 




Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Baltimore:

MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader]. 6-8


Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2015). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social

welfare policy analysis for social workers. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

Education. 164-193





Response 3: Emerging Issues in Mental Health Care


Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.


·      Respond to at least two colleagues by expanding on their posts regarding what social workers can do to ensure that clients/populations receive necessary mental health services. In your response, explain the ethical responsibility related to mental health care in host settings that social workers must uphold when they encounter conflicts in administration and professional values. For example, how might you balance insurance, service, and continuity of care?


Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.




Colleague 1: JH



There are many emerging issues within the mental health care system that need to be advocated for. One big issue is the scarcity of services to the mentally ill. There needs to be more hospitals, more beds, and more professionally educated individuals that can help these types of clients. I also think that another issue is the lack of insurance company coverage. I know here in Alabama there is only one insurance company for the whole state. Some mental health services are covered but then they’re some that you have to pay out of pocket for. Complete coverage can help aid patients whose mental illness were identified by early detection (Popple and Leighninger, 2015). As social workers we need to advocate for more services to be provided to our clients suffering from mental illness. We can also advocate for policy changes within our local insurances to provide more coverage for individuals that need to have mental health care coverage. Social workers can also report to authorities and institutions to help notify them of patients who fail to follow treatment plans (Plummer, Makris, and Brocksen, 2014). We also should help family member and/or other support individuals understand and participate in the goals and treatment plans with our patients. These are great assets for success with mental health patients. Here in Alabama our commitment standards are pretty straightforward. The individual has to be able to make rational and informed decisions about their health and a substantial risk of harm to themselves or others.



Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2015). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.


Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Baltimore: MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].





Colleague 2: RW



Some emerging issues that are present in the mental health care is the integration of clients in society and the constant “rehospitalizations.” In our resources it was suggested that people who suffer from severe illnesses seem to consistently be hospitalized. (Popple, 2015). I think one reason this could be the case is because of the inability to successfully transition and live within society with heir diagnoses. As a social worker it would be beneficial to advocate for those trying to transition into society by possibly setting up outgoing services that are accessible to them upon discharge. By having useful services at their disposal it could possibly decrease re hospitalizations all together. 


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