Military Psychiatric Social Work in an Overseas General Hospital July 1951 –July 1952

John Alfred Walsh, Fordham University


Background of the Study. Military psychiatric social work in close collaboration with military psychiatry has as its immediate goal the alleviation of those problems of adjustment which interfere with a soldier's performance of duty. The casework skills of the military social worker are utilized in a variety of military settings where adjustment problems are likely to occur. Even before his entrance into the Army the potential soldier may be interviewed by a social worker at an induction station where disqualifying factors of an emotional or social nature are evaluated. At basic training or reception centers military social workers offer their services to individuals experiencing difficulty under the rigorous training programs designed to transform them from civilians to soldiers. The inexperienced youngster fearful of going overseas is a familiar problem to social workers at ports of embarkation. The social worker at a replacement depot offers his service to men embittered by what they consider unjust assignments. The disciplinary barrack's responsibility for the assignment, training and planning of military prisoners is shared by the social worker. The rebellious ”AWOL” or the nervous rifleman are offered his help and guidance. On the neuropsychiatric wards of general hospitals the psychiatric casualty is reassured and helped by a solder social worker. Plans for the future are shared with social workers by men in reconditioning centers. Amid the furor of combat the military social worker is present to give support to men experiencing the extremes of hardship and deprivation. Officer or enlisted man, recruit or veteran, in the States or overseas, all have available the services of a trained social worker who is also a fellow soldier.

Subject Area

Military studies|Mental health|Clinical psychology|Social work

Recommended Citation

Walsh, John Alfred, "Military Psychiatric Social Work in an Overseas General Hospital July 1951 –July 1952" (1954). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30670801.