Youth First Highlights Laura Arrick – Social Work Week 2022

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Laura Arrick, LCSW – Youth First Social Worker at Evansville Day School and Signature School in Vanderburgh County

Q: What called you to become a social worker?

A: I always knew I had the essential skills (good listener, empathetic, people-person, adaptable, genuinely caring, etc.), but I didn’t really feel called to the profession until my internships in college. Seeing social work in action and how I could use those skills to help people grow and heal was when I knew this was what I was passionate about. I haven’t looked back since. 

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

A: By far the most rewarding part of my job is the connections I am able to make with the students. Being in their buildings and alongside them as they navigate their journey is so awe-inspiring. We have time to cultivate these trusting and safe relationships with one another and those bonds really make this work meaningful.

Q: What does mental health mean to you?

A: For me, mental health centers around a person’s emotional and psychological well-being. It is incredibly complex and ever-evolving. I am often challenged by the fact that no one technique works for everyone and figuring out how to tailor effective tools/strategies to each individual constantly keeps me learning and growing as well.

Q: How has social work influenced the way you view younger generations?

A: My work with students has definitely challenged my viewpoints in a lot of ways. They are so much more complex and complicated than we sometimes give them credit for. It’s easy to dismiss them or think they can’t possibly understand or think clearly and rationally about situations. When in fact they have a lot to offer and are often so much more open and non-judgemental. 

Q: Which mental health tools/strategies do you think are the most impactful or effective for students?

A: I think it is important for young people to be able to understand and process their belief systems and automatic thoughts. Once they gain that awareness, they can then problem-solve and think about their behaviors in a different light.