Social workers looking at the bigger picture

It’s World Social Work Day and this year’s theme is ‘Respecting diversity through joint social action’.

20 Mar 2023

Social workers at Midland Head to Health
Image: Social workers Terry Larson, Michele Banse and Diana Molana provide mental health support for clients at Midland Head to Health in Perth’s eastern suburbs.

It’s a theme close to the heart of Diana Molano, a social worker at Midland Head to Health adult mental health centre in Perth’s east, who says the role of this profession is to “keep an eye on the blind spots in the system”.

“We are aware and trained to see how [these blind spots] impact minorities,” says Diana. “In this context, we advocate for change to make a difference for individuals, groups and communities,” she says.

Diana notes the role of social workers is very broad, but is underpinned by standing as guardians for clients within systems.

“We work with individuals, families and communities in all areas, such as family and domestic violence, alcohol and other drugs, mental health, early intervention, the justice system and emergency services, policy and leadership roles, community development and even environmental work.”

World Social Work Day is held on the third Tuesday of March each year and celebrates the vital role of this profession within the health, social services and community sectors. 

Diana says she finds her work rewarding because she can interact with interesting people and is passionate about culture, equity, community, belonging and self-actualisation.

“I think everyone should have the opportunity to evolve and pursue their aspirations in a context that protects their rights, regardless of their background or personal, physical and financial limitations,” she says.

As a social worker in the mental health sector, Diana says the profession can provide people experiencing these concerns with a holistic and systemic approach to support that extends outside of the consulting room, as well as individualised and targeted therapy.

And what would she like the world to know about her profession that they might not know yet? 

“We don’t just organise emergency relief and taxi vouchers! We use a holistic, wellbeing approach to mental health support that doesn’t just cover your individual experience, but connects all aspects of your life. In this way, we can develop a treatment plan that addresses the multiple layers of your recovery.”

Midland Head to Health adult mental health centre is open from 10.00am to 8.00pm every of the year, including all public holidays and weekends, for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health and emotional issues.
Located at 23 Old Great Northern Hwy, it supports people in Perth’s north and east, including Swan, Kalamunda and Mundaring. Services are provided at no cost and no referral or appointment is needed.