For the past 6 months, we have had the pleasure of having Emma, a Social Work student from ECU join and shadow our Mental Health Team. Emma is in her 3rd year and GP down south was her first round of practical workplace based learning. Emma told us, ‘on campus learning only gives us the theoretical base, therefore we do 1000 hours of prac to give us opportunity to integrate theory and practice. I very much enjoy my course, and I love social work. I feel privileged to study what I am so passionate about.’
With only 12 months until graduation, working in mental health is her biggest interest and has been from the beginning. ‘I have been working within the mental health team and it has been interesting to see how a multidisciplinary team cooperates, especially given the remote nature of the work. Also, having so much time to shadow and learn from Meredith and Gianna whom both have so much social work experience has been interesting.’
We asked Emma to write a few words about her time at GP down south and while she found this task a bit challenging, here is what she had to say.
My time at GP Down South has been such a great introduction to working in Mental Health. I can safely say, it has been a time of growth for me. I have had the opportunity to learn so much, from people who have extensive mental health knowledge and experience. The patience and kindness of the clinicians has made for a wonderfully supportive environment to learn in. Gianna and Meredith have been great supervisors within this placement process. The values of the organization come through when the mental health clinicians work with the service users. Being reassured that there are mental health teams who are values driven above all else, has been really motivating and reassuring for me.
I did have half of an idea about the lack of services available to people in the South West region, but I am surprised at the extent of this problem. The lack of funding, community consultation and infostructure in the region is surprising and confronting, especially considering the wealth of the area. I hope services like GPDs are funded and supported to develop as the region grows, with hope of addressing this problem.
As a social work student, I have one more year of study to do, until I am qualified and able to spread my wings as a fledgling social worker. My experience at GPDS has encouraged me to pursue mental health as my direction of practice within the social work profession. However, with that said, a strong pull to travel and explore leaves me open minded to any opportunity which may cross my path.
I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at the Busselton office for being welcoming and generally brilliant!
Honestly, I have a million ideas about post-graduation, and simultaneously no clue. Opportunities are plentiful in WA for social work graduates. If it involved moving to the Kimberly, and going on an adventure, that would be great!
From all of us at the GP down south Busselton office, thanks Emma. It has been a joy having you as part of the team.
GP down south is an exemplary not-for-profit community organisation. We have been providing health and wellbeing services in the Peel regions and the South West of WA since 1994.