Doctors, social workers join forces
Kentucky high school student Dalton Wooten suffered from crippling panic attacks so his grandmother, who has custody of Dalton, took him to his pediatrician, according to this Courier-Journal article.
The doctor said Dalton needed to see a therapist. But instead of waiting for days or weeks to see a therapist Dalton was able to immediately visit social worker Susan Hewitt, LCSW, who worked right in the doctor’s office.
“She was great. She actually saw me that day. And she kinda calmed me down about most of the things I was thinking about.”
Later Hewitt helped Wooten get medications he needed and had sessions with him to determine what triggered the panic attacks and learn coping skills to avoid them.
Hewitt is part of the Pediatric Mental and Behavioral Health Alliance, a group of more than 30 doctors, mental health professionals and others who are working to improve connections between medical and mental health providers and provide better mental health services for young people.
There job is more urgent in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, where a 20-year-old man with mental health issues shot and killed 26 elementary school students and educators.
“I started working with kids and mental health 17 years ago,” Hewitt said. “Caseloads continue to get higher, and more kids need services.”
Social workers help young people overcome life’s hurdles and provide mental health services to millions of Americans. To learn more about the various services social workers provide visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” consumer website.
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