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Meet Jasmine Masse, RSW: Connecting with clients & caregivers during challenging times

A phone conversation with Jasmine Masse, Registered Social Worker with the WRHA’s Home Care Community Stroke Care Service, is inspiring. She’s full of life and brimming with energy, and you can tell immediately that she approaches her work with purpose and meaning. 

“I consider it a privilege to help clients and their caregivers adapt to new and often extremely challenging life circumstances,” says Jasmine. “I am the only Social Worker in this program, and I get to be part of a dedicated multi-disciplinary team that works together to provide wrap-around services. I genuinely love being able to be an advocate and make whatever difference I can to a client’s life after they’ve survived a stroke.” 

Jasmine began her post-secondary education in Calgary with plans to forge a career in the field of Applied Child Studies, when helping professions including Nursing and Social Work began calling out to her. 

“I came back to Winnipeg, entered the Faculty of Social Work and graduated in 2017, pregnant with my first child,” laughs Jasmine, who is now a busy mother to two children, ages three and six. “I worked for a short time in a community mental health agency and then took a term position with the stroke team after having my son. Three years ago, after having my second baby, I was thrilled to become permanent with the stroke service team so now I get to do what I love every day.” 

A day in the life of a stroke service social worker

Jasmine’s role is varied, determined by the range of clients’ individual needs and circumstances. She typically has in her caseload anywhere from 10 to 15 clients of varying ages and socioeconomic statuses.

“Surviving a stroke can result in physical health changes, as well as emotional, mental and financial concerns. Navigating our complex health-care system and social services to access resources and support is very difficult for someone who doesn’t do this all day like I do. That’s where we come in!” 

Because she works in the community, Jasmine travels between appointments, assessing client and caregiver needs, recommending services, dealing with housing challenges, filing administrative paperwork and consulting with the stroke service team, which includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, case coordinators and more. She typically meets with her clients once per week over the course of three to six months.  

“Strokes can affect all dimensions of a person’s life: their ability to work, where they live, their communication skills, relationships, their mental health… Many stroke clients deal with emotional changes, so it’s important to get them connected with proper care for those concerns. Then there are caregivers, who may become stressed and overwhelmed. They may experience grief, increased roles and responsibilities, and financial changes, so we need to connect caregivers with support as well.” 

Jasmine’s clients are referred to her by the team’s case coordinators and allied health team, usually for a specific reason or category of issues.  

“I go in and do an initial assessment. An example of an issue might be accessibility and housing. So that client might be exploring assisted living or alternative housing, so I’ll work through their criteria with them and whittle down the list so they can process options.” 

Jasmine’s entrepreneur husband owns a fence and deck-building company, and he is keeping himself very busy building a home he designed himself for their family.  

Meanwhile, Jasmine devotes time to the union as a MAHCP District Director, and is a member of four committees and boards, including the boards of her kids’ daycares. She is dedicated to promoting social work through involvement with the professional association and by taking on students. She is grateful to be able to give back.

“It’s heartbreaking to see people struggling with health and life changes post-stroke, made even more difficult with systemic barriers and challenges with program eligibility, wait lists, costs and availability. I love helping others, and I strive to reduce client stress and time spent navigating the various systems in Winnipeg. Clients deserve the best quality, most competent care they can get.” 

Read another profile of Jasmine: Social Work Month: Helping clients piece together the puzzle | Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (wrha.mb.ca) or learn more about National Social Work Month: National Social Work Month 2024.


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