February 18th, 2007

Cut cuddle and be Cute

This is no way to treat people

Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration at Army's Top Medical Facility
Stories like this make me sick. There's so much that should, could be changed to make things better. It seems to me that someone has forgotten that soldiers are people, and when they're injured, adjusting to physical changes or dealing with mental illnesses or symptoms related to their service, they need proper medical care. I've done absolutely nothing in the way of service to my country, I haven't served in a war, made sacrifices to be in the peace core or anything like that. Whether you agree with the war or not, I'd hope we could agree that no one should be treated the way that these soldiers are being treated.

I can only imagine the burnout rate for social workers there. We're trained and I think it's part of our personalities as social workers to work on micro, mezzo and macro levels. This is known as the integrative model. The idea here is that, yes, as a clinical social worker someday, I could offer psychotherapy to a soldier who's suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Or as a Bachelor of Social Work, I could offer short term support. Both times, I could help them get benefits, look for affordible housing etc. Then I'd want to look at the family and figure out support systems. If the function of the family is impaired, it's important to address that. Then, on the Mezzo level, we look at the community. If the soldier is discharged from the military, do they have access to resources? Is there help for someone with PTSD, such as a support group that may be beneficial. Does the soldier have access to all needed services? If applicable, does the soldier need help finding places that are wheelchair accessible? And, then there's the macro level of policy. We have to address the problems in policy or society that are not condusive to empowerment. I wouldn't really know where to start, but allocating more money to the care of injured soldiers and changing hospital policy to be more condusive to healing would be good starts.

When these things don't happen, and repeatedly don't happen, it's not hard to understand the discouragement of the social worker mentioned in the article. I don't know where to start, but a letter to a congressperson might not be a bad place to start. These injured soldiers need our support and prayers. Whether you believe in war or not, at least admit that these soldiers are fighting so that we don't have to. Their motives are good, and we owe them a lot.

Thanks for the link to this go to
Disability studies.