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School of Medicine
Director: Gretchen Withrow, MSW, LCSW-C
Department of Psychiatry Social Work
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
600 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287-7364
Clinical social workers are vital members of the treatment teams in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. They are masters-level, licensed mental health professionals trained to help people find solutions to a range of social problems that often accompany illness. Psychiatric illness, in particular, often reverberates through a patient’s life, complicating and straining one’s relationships, job situation, and quality of life. Our social workers strive to help patients cope with these overlapping aspects of their lives while they heal, using a combination of individual counseling, group and family therapy, and connection to hospital and community resources.
Social workers are involved with patients in inpatient, day hospital and outpatient settings across the spectrum of specialty programs within the department. They conduct assessments of patients’ social, emotional, interpersonal and socioeconomic issues. They work to enhance patient and family communications with the medical team members to enable patients to be active partners in their own care. Depending upon the specialty unit, social workers are often involved in illness education and counseling. In all areas, they are pivotal to the aftercare planning process to facilitate a careful transition back to family and community.
Please read more about our mission, the history of psychiatry social work, the history of social work at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, more about our social workers’ role in psychiatric services (specialty programs), and where to find more information about mental illness, support and advocacy organizations, and community resources (resources).