March is National Social Work Month!
March is National Social Work Month — making it the ideal time to thank all of the incredible social workers who work at Michigan Medicine.
This year’s Social Work Month theme is “The Time is Right for Social Work.” The National Association of Social Workers said this theme resonates because social workers are on the front-lines helping nation overcome a variety of current challenges — the COVID-19 pandemic, economic inequality, natural disasters and more.
The need for more social workers is reflected in data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which noted that social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S. There are expected to be more than 800,000 social workers in the U.S. by 2030, up 12 percent from 2020.
Here are some facts about social workers, as provided by the NASW:
- Social workers are the largest group of mental health care providers in the U.S. and work daily to help people — whether in person or remotely — overcome substance use disorders and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
- Social workers have always helped people overcome issues such as death and grief and helped people and communities recover from increasing natural disasters such as fires, hurricanes and earthquakes brought on by climate change.
- Social workers have successfully advocating for equal rights for all, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color, those who are LBGTQIA+, religious groups and others.
- Social workers have continued to push for changes that have made our society a better place to live, including a livable wage, improved workplace safety and social safety net programs that help ameliorate poverty, hunger and homelessness.
The time is always right for social work. However, more people are entering the field because the life-affirming services that social workers provide are needed more than ever.
Happy National Social Work Month!