Responding to Legal Issues in Mental Health Essay

1645 Words Mar 27th, 2013 7 Pages
U09a1 Responding to Ethical and Legal Issues
Erica Bryant Owens
Capella University

Case Scenario: An 18 year old female named Simone is a new mother who does not know who the father of her child is. She is a high school dropout and receives government assistance. She has received a grant by her social worker to attend counseling for awhile. She has no family to depend on due to her parents being alcoholics and suffering from mental illness. Simone was labeled in school as having learning disabilities and a low I.Q. She is anxious and admits to smoking and selling marijuana only when the child is asleep. She is resistant when offered other ways to relax and she says that her drug use is only temporary at 3 times per week so far.
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As a counselor, I have a duty to report these issues to child protective services while also obtaining help for this client because she also has mental issues and needs some type of support system due to her having no family available.
The fourth step is: Involve your client within the decision-making process.- Simone could be asked what ways she may need the help the most. She could be involved with family services. I would also inform her that Child Protective Services of Alabama (http://www.dhr.alabma.gov/childprotectiveservices) would have to access her situation at home with the baby since she has confided in me about the marijuana use and also offer her parenting classes and substance abuse counseling through an organization called NAMI ALABAMA. This organization helps those with mental illness receive substance abuse counseling (http://www.namialabama.org). These would all be offers to her not demands so that she could feel empowered and active in her own treatment. I could also offer her services to help with her learning disability.
The fifth step would be to Identify desired outcomes.- I would have Simone to make goals based on what she wants out of life. Even though she seems unmotivated, she should be offered choices. Maybe once she sees that she is not alone and has support, she can focus on helping herself and not feeling hopeless. She will feel like she is making choices in her own treatment. An organization