March is National Social Work Month and Columbus Public Health is celebrating the crucial role social workers play in our mission to protect health and improve lives.

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March is National Social Work Month and Columbus Public Health is celebrating the crucial role social workers play in our mission to protect health and improve lives.  

Social workers have a rich history in public health, tirelessly advocating, educating, and empowering families and individuals. They recognize what must be done to address persistent social problems such as poverty, lack of education and health care access, and discrimination based on gender, race, sexuality, or income.  Anyone, no matter their circumstance, may need the expertise of a skilled social worker at some time in their lives.

Here are five facts from the National Association of Social Workers about who they are, what they do, and why they are so important to our community!

  • Social workers help individuals, families, and groups restore or enhance their capacity for social functioning, and work to create societal conditions that support communities in need. 
  • Professional Social Workers are the nation's largest providers of mental health services.  Social workers provide more mental health services than psychologists, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses combined.
  • What makes Social Work different?  Social Work  focuses on the  whole person approach considering  every aspect of a person’s life such as relationships, history, neighborhoods, and policy.  This is known as the person- in- environment model.  Social work utilizes a strengths based perspective with a focus on social justice and human rights. Social work helps clients be empowered through self-determination and better understanding available choices. 
  • Social workers help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, loss, unemployment, educational problems, disability, and mental illness. They help prevent crises and counsel individuals, families, and communities to cope more effectively with the stresses of everyday life. 
  • Social Workers work together to ensure the best outcomes for clients by maintaining  collaborative relationships with one another to discuss and review cases on a regular basis.