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Valley Behavioral Health

GSSW in the Field


STUDENT: Amanda Spears, [email protected] online MSW program

AGENCY: Valley Behavioral Health in Barling, Arkansas

WHAT THEY DO: Valley Behavioral Health provides inpatient acute care for those who are actively homicidal, suicidal or psychotic; sub-acute care for adolescents; and partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient services for adults transitioning back into the community from an inpatient stay or when outpatient services can no longer meet their needs. They also offer school-based counseling, outpatient counseling and therapeutic day-treatment services for youth.

STUDENT’S ROLE: Spears recently transitioned from working with acute-care adult patients to the children’s unit. She observes and completes individual, family and group sessions with patients and creates safety plans, discharge plans and biopsychosocial assessments.

THE IMPACT: “I have a passion and curiosity for people and their circumstances, which is what led me into social work. I have been given a unique opportunity at Valley to work with people to overcome some pretty intense circumstances and find balance and stability in their lives. Since my background is with adolescents in the court system, where decisions are typically made by a judge and/or parents, it’s been a new experience for me to be able to help adults in a time of crisis to make decisions and realizations about their life based on their own priorities and goals.”

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