Special Population (Uop Bshs 402)

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Special Populations
University of Phoenix
Darla Roberts
BSHS 402
Jocelyn Besse
May 7, 2011

Many populations in and outside of human services can utilize the skills and services of a case manager, however, there are many special populations in the realm of human services that require a case manager. Populations that were determined to need a case manager were the elderly, poverty stricken, mental/emotional disabilities, speech pathology, and drug exposed infants. Though each of these populations needs a multitude of services and a case manager, those with mental and emotional disabilities can benefit exponentially with the aid and expertise of a case manager to ensure that needs are met for those clients that cannot or do not understand what needs should be met. How and why have you selected this population? How was this area of interest formed? My interest in the human service field and case management of mental and emotional disabilities was nurtured through personal experience. Throughout my adolescence and early adulthood as I watched two sisters struggle with Bipolar Disorder (BD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and Manic Depressive Disorder (MDD). My younger brother also battled with mental and emotional disorders such as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and various other disorders that prevented learning at an average pace or milestone achievements. Watching my siblings battle these obstacles and the upheaval that each episode brought into our family life made for a constant barrage of dramatic psych ward admissions, suicide attempts, frustration, stress, and emotional exhaustion for both the individual experiencing the episode and the rest of the family watching with our breath held as to the outcome. Growing up in this environment first began to affect me negatively with rebellious acting out. However as I aged and matured, these episodes fostered empathy and an undeniable desire to help others suffering as my siblings had. In the last eight years, I have lost both my sisters to suicide. My older sister overdosed on prescription medication in January of 2003 at the age of 22, and my younger sister overdosed on her prescription medication this past February at the age of 24. Not only do I wish to help those individuals who suffer with these same afflictions, but I would also like to help and support those individuals who are constantly exposed to the effects and aftermath of these disabilities. What do you bring to the field of helping that would benefit this specific population? The largest contribution I bring to the field of case managing is experience. Living with siblings combating so many struggles and obstacles, not only have I seen firsthand what these episodes can entail, but I also know how these episodes can affect the other individuals living in the home. Watching my siblings suffer through these illnesses, I felt helpless, distraught, anxious, and when younger, resentment. The child suffering from the illness is given so much attention that other children in the home without afflictions are forgotten, bypassed, or simply unnoticed. Though being teased at school, not understanding homework, or normal teenage issues pales in comparison to illnesses such as BPD, OCD, MDD, and other illness, the child dealing with the average issues of every adolescent still feels they need guidance, help, and support. However, the parents, schools, doctors, and other family members are so concerned and concentrated on the child with mental issues, that the other children are left to overcome obstacles of everyday life with no support or guidance except what may be found elsewhere. This can lead to drugs, sex, legal trouble, acting out, problems in school, and a number of other undesirable effects. Though some, like me, may experiment mildly with these behaviors and outgrow them, others are not so lucky and end up with severe issues of their own....
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