Practicum, Career Strategies and Life in the Mental Health and Addictions Worker Program

In Mental Health & Addictions – Darren by DarrenLeave a Comment

As we have come to completion of all of our practicums I find somewhat of a void as I have dedicated myself to school somewhat full time and my practicum for the past month has been full time. My schedule has been spread between the Drug Users Resource Center (DURC) and Insite. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at DURC while Saturday and Sunday I spent time at Insite. I won’t deny that very much preferred my time at DURC over Insite I did still enjoy my time spent at Insite. The only trouble I hah with Insite is that I did not feel like I was doing enough. I did learn a lot there no question but as for performing duties we were somewhat limited as to what we could do due to insurance and work safe restrictions. I felt this was a bit unfair to us at first as we have just gone through 13 months of schooling and have several different certificates we would not have been covered if we were poked by a needle and contracted a disease from that. I wondered if signing a waiver might not protect Insite but as I thought of different things surrounding this I realized how selfish I was being. I understand now that Insite has so much to deal in the way of funding, the ability to stay open and running to continue providing the service they do and here I am whining about how little I have to do. My “mole hill” is very small compared to insite’s “mountain” and I am sure anyone would agree with me as I told myself to shut up and buck up to what my true responsibilities are and that is to learn. To learn what Insite is about, to learn what they offer to the members that frequent this place and in turn it helps to keep them alive. As I said molehill right? My problems are nowhere near what the people who spend their time here, use there injection drugs of choice under supervision and even get to hang out after and hydrate with juice and/or coffee and it truly is amazing what Insite has accomplished. Saving people from contracting AIDS or Hep C through sharing needles and bring the number of overdose deaths down significantly since opening in 2003. There is a book co-written by Bud Osbourne called “Raise Shit” that tells about the story leading up to opening of Insite, the struggles, the government fights and the sense of togetherness it brought to injection drug users of Downtown Eastside Vancouver it is an amazing story.

We have been presented with a job search class that really helped me put together a resume and cover letter for assisting me in starting my new career. It’s amazing how much they help and care about the help they are giving. The instructors were available almost anytime I needed them, they helped prepare me and instilled confidence in myself to go to interviews and succeed. I have not written a resume, cover letter or attended an interview in over 15 years so believe me when I say this portion of our classes was very helpful indeed. It is a step by step module that really does show you how to achieve these things and in a very simple way. Again I have to extend my thanks to the instructors and the staff at Insite and DURC as with their help I feel very confident that I can succeed in a career in the field of community mental health and addiction, very confident indeed.

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