Practicum students inspire hope and change lives!
Social work students know they will be using the practice skill learned in social work courses in their agency practicum. Most cannot imagine how they will change lives. Linda Downey’s practicum provides mental health services through a crisis hot line that provides services to callers across the country. One evening the call Linda answered was from someone who had possibly taken pills to commit suicide. That evening, Linda utilized her coping skills and education she had recently received regarding suicide assistance and attempted to engage the caller. With the help of a co-worker, Linda attempted to keep in contact with the caller while local police were contacted to try and locate the caller with no identifying information, other than a phone number. Even after the local police who were tracking the phone number said the call came from within a 1000 mile radius of town in another state, Linda kept trying to engage the caller who continued to refuse to give her address, would get angry and hang up and, eventually, stopped answering the phone. Finally three and a half hours later, Linda learned that police in a city about 500 miles away had located the caller and, although the caller was unconscious, they were able to take her to the emergency room for help. Afterwards, Linda said she was “ grateful for the education I received to help me stay calm and feel more prepared to take action.”
- As a non-traditional student, my experience in the Master of Social Work Program at UMSL was everything I hoped. My interactions with the professors, staff, and fellow classmates were incredibly enlightening. The atmosphere was supportive in many ways. I am proud to say I am confident that the educational foundation that I have acquired will last throughout my social work career. In addition, I feel an overwhelming sense of joy knowing that I have become part of a lifelong network of professional people. If anyone asked whether I would recommend the program to prospective students, I would answer, "Yes without a doubt." Anonymous
- I am a former BSW student and just wanted to say hello. I am currently working as a behavioral health supervisor and also in private practice. While at UMSL, I worked to organize our Student Social Work Association with your (Dr. Lois Pierce) help. I am glad to I always remember our positive interactions and what a great experience I had in the BSW program. Sincerely, Shannon Oesch