Cel­e­brat­ing so­cial work­ers

Townsville Bulletin - - News -

TOWNSVILLE so­cial work­ers will cel­e­brate more than 60 years of ser­vice to the com­mu­nity as part of World So­cial Work Day to­day.

Work­ers are set to cele b r a t e w i t h t h e N o r t h Queens­land’s so­cial work fo­rum in­volv­ing the Townsville Health Ser­vice district’s acute hos­pi­tal, men­tal health and com­mu­nity so­cial work teams.

These groups work along­side mem­bers from the Aus­tralian As­so­ci­a­tion of So­cial Work­ers North Queens­land and James Cook Univer­sity’s depart­ment of so­cial work and com­mu­nity wel­fare.

So­cial work­ers have his- toric ties with the city’s health in­dus­try be­ing the first al­lied health pro­fes­sional em­ployed at the old Townsville Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in North Ward in 1951.

Townsville Health Ser­vice District di­rec­tor of so­cial work Chris Barrett said the day was set to pro­vide a host of ben­e­fits.

‘‘ So­cial work­ers across the health ser­vice district should b e v e r y p r o u d o f t h e i r na­tion­ally re­spected reput at i on and achieve­ments over the past 60 years,’’ he said.

The Townsville Health Ser­vice District’s so­cial work teams look af­ter pa­tients from Mackay to Cape York and west to the North­ern Ter­ri­tory bor­der.

Mr Barrett said the lo­cal con­tin­gent was pas­sion­ate about car­ing for the peo­ple of North Queens­land.

‘‘ At the hos­pi­tal alone we see about 1400 in­pa­tients and about 250 out­pa­tients each month,’’ he said. ‘‘ The district’s so­cial work­ers sup­port peo­ple whose nor­mal cop­ing mech­a­nisms are over­whelmed by emo­tions such as fear, anx­i­ety, anger and grief. This can be par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant for pa­tients who are from out of town and away from their usual sup­port base.’’

HELP: So­cial work­ers Tr­ish Rowan, Chris Barrett and El­iz­a­beth Ro­manik

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