As we celebrate Case Manager’s Week and honor the work that case managers dedicate themselves to year-round, we want to stop and really understand: What is a case manager and what do they do? These ‘behind-the-scenes’ heroes play a large role in getting people the help they deserve before, during, and after treatment.
Who are Case Managers?
Case managers can be anyone! Generally, these individuals have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in nursing, counseling or psychology. Certification requires education, field hours and passing an exam from a certified organization of that individual’s choice. Because case management spreads over a broad area within the healthcare industry, an individual may want to focus on one area, such as child care or mental illness. There are a few certifications to choose from, but the Certified Case Manager (CCM) exam offered by the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) is among the most popular and prestigious.
Case managers are often compassionate, caring people who want to help others find solid ground for long-term health success. They communicate well, are natural problem solvers and can blend clinical care with their clients’ unique needs.
What Do Case Managers Do?
Over 70 years ago, the mother of social work and case management, Mary Richmond, envisioned a group of kind, neighborly individuals with the drive to help others with their everyday struggles. She created the field of social casework and, as time went on, it became what we know today as case management.
Case managers offer a wide variety of services for people who find themselves in difficult situations. These services could be anything from advising someone on how to handle a specific health situation to suggesting treatment services and creating a plan for aftercare or other health-related assistance that comes with helping another get back on their feet.
Case managers work with a diverse population from children and the elderly to the homeless, to those in the prison system and those struggling with chronic illnesses, addiction, or mental health disorders. Often, case managers work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities and nursing homes.
Why Are They Important?
A case manager is there to help mediate vulnerable situations with the underprivileged and the underheard. Both substance use and mental health disorders impact multiple facets of a person’s life. By having a case manager involved with treatment, those suffering can expect a continuum of care, rather than a fragmented experience that may leave that person without a safety net. Case managers advocate for their clients and find the right path that fits their needs, not the other way around.
That is why case management is so important. Substance use and mental health disorders disrupt so much of a person’s life that it is challenging to heal alone. Case managers offer hands-on guidance to ensure that a person has all of the support necessary to succeed in their recovery.
This week, think about someone who has guided you, listened to you or supported you in your recovery, much like a case manager would. Take a minute to write them a note or give them a call. A simple act of kindness never goes unnoticed. If you or your loved one haven’t taken the first step towards a new life, we are here to help. Call us today at 844 875 5609.