During times of crisis, our communities turn to our health and behavioral health professionals for solace and support. It seems fitting then that we celebrate the profession of social work in the month of March given that now, more than ever, we need to recognize the value of social workers and mental health workers who provide needed care, resources, research, and advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable among us.
Many of these individuals are on the front lines daily serving children and families who are sick, hungry, or in need of housing or financial assistance to pay basic bills. They provide care, therapy, and other assistance to patients with mental illness or developmental disabilities, and they help individuals and families problem solve and navigate complex public systems to ensure they get the help they need.
Our social work researchers also commit their lives to the science of our profession. They focus on real-world problems and work directly with individuals, families, communities, organizations and systems to translate research into innovative approaches to address society’s most pressing needs. Their work helps shape policies, programs and direct service interventions that bring about positive change within a framework of social justice.
In these times of uncertainty, we also need to remember that social workers are highly trained to recognize and promote the strengths of individuals and families. There is little doubt we will all need to dig deep in the months to come for resiliency to sustain us. For now, it is comforting to know our nation’s social workers will be leading and guiding the way.