Working in Social Housing : impact on mental health.

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by marty21, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. marty21

    marty21 One on one? You're crazy.

  2. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    That's interesting (and heartbreaking) marty21, how do you cope with working in the same sector?
  3. marty21

    marty21 One on one? You're crazy.

    Personally, I don't take it home with me , I do the work and head home . I think I'm probably suited to the work, I don't get confrontational , don't get judgemental, and try to treat people with respect. Plus, you get used to it, you get used to people sharing their life stories, you get used to dealing with people with drink and drug issues.
  4. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    I suspect it must be easy to get overly invested in some people/situations, especially if it's something a person has direct experience of. A friend of me is a social worker, has worked with people with HIV/AIDS and had to switch after a few years as it was getting intense.
    Pickman's model and marty21 like this.
  5. marty21

    marty21 One on one? You're crazy.

    Tbf , that is very tough , I do work closely with Social Workers sometimes , and that can be very intense.
  6. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    Oh yes, it was. Plus there were issues with the local government reorganising various aspects of the services, cuts, you know the type of thing. Just got fed up.

    His favourite client was a Glaswegian who turned round to him as he was leaving one day and said 'Ye ken, S, youse the only cunt tha' gies a fuck about me, nae other cunt does'.
    farmerbarleymow, Voley, yield and 3 others like this.
  7. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat Santa is an evilous man

    maybe employer should run a 'cunt of the month' award

  8. wiskey

    wiskey Albatross Admirer

    In emergency medical there's a few studies that suggest that the more empathic you are the more of a bubble you protect yourself from burnout with.
    Mation and marty21 like this.
  9. yield

    yield zero

    I was in sheltered housing and linkline for over 14 years. Not sure how I lasted so long. My binge drinking had gotten really bad the last three years or so.

    I'll never forget doing chest compressions with a paramedic on an old lady who'd just has a heart attack. She pinked up but there was no response and her eyes slowly filmed over. Asked him how long we had to do it for. He said until the van arrived. Felt like forever.
  10. Voley

    Voley Sign On You Crazy Diamond

    Yeah, lots of bells ringing there for me too. Being a housing officer burned me out twice. I still work in social housing but on the development side now - I'm in the team that builds the houses; I have to leave the issues that come once the houses are built to other folk a bit more resilient than myself.
    RubyToogood, marty21 and Badgers like this.
  11. Voley

    Voley Sign On You Crazy Diamond

    Thing that got me was the ever-increasing workload. I could cope with angry people (they often had good reason), drink/drug problems don't bother me, mental illness I can deal with etc etc but the workload just got bigger and bigger. By the end, I couldn't give people the time they needed for often very complex issues and I felt I was letting people down. So I switched to the bricks-and-mortar side rather than the people side. I'm glad I still work in social housing, even if I'm not at the sharp end so much these days. We need it more than ever.
  12. oryx

    oryx Sitting on the bock of the day

    I worked in housing for decades including spells at the sharp end and found that the rewards (not usually financial, I hasten to add!) outweighed the occasional horrors.

    What did it for me with working in housing was increasing corporatisation, office politics and constantly elongating management structures. When I worked as a senior housing officer/team leader in the 90s and early 2000s, I earned about £2k a year more than officers. By the time I left housing (2017) a head of service would earn twice the salary of an officer.
  13. hash tag

    hash tag member

    Been thinking about this since last night.
    To do this sort of job it helps if you have some sort of empathy. I feel that a colleague or two does the job because it is money in the bank and am not sure they particularly care
    about people, which is what its really all about. When starting out as a volunteer many years ago I probably over invested but never felt burnt out. I even kept in touch with a rough sleeper
    for a while occasionally visiting them when they were in hospital and taking them a few bits and pieces.
    i wouldn't do that now. Admittedly my job is now more divorced from the client than when I was a sheltered housing officer and 10 15 years or so later, I do not feel in any way burnt out.
    I can get exasperated juggling a clients needs between the various agencies be it a hospital, a doctor a social worker or whatever - like the time a client was discharged before they were
    ready and sent home without a care package. Call to social services who said it is not down to us as they are under the social work team at the hospital. Getting hold of the social work team
    at the hospital was a nightmare in itself and when I did get hold of them tehy said it wasn't down to them as client had now been discharged....
    It's a tough call balancing empathy without getting over invested and I think it's something some people just have.
  14. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan knows how to use the three shells

    Happened to a friend of mine - they burnt out and didn't work for two years - bad/bullying management was mainly the cause of this, though the horrors they had to deal with were also a factor - dead bodies, children living in squalor - much like the writer of the article.
    It seems poor management is quite common in HAs.
  15. oryx

    oryx Sitting on the bock of the day

    Showed this article to my OH, an ex-HO who spent longer at the really sharp end than I did.

    He said de-skilling is a big factor. Being a HO used to mean you gained skills and knowledge through experience, using common sense and on the job or sometimes day-release training.

    A lot of the job now seems to be workflow-based - real 'computer says no' stuff.
    Voley and Badgers like this.

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