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NASW Celebrates National Professional Social Work Month in March 2007


“Hope and Health” theme focuses on issues related to wellness

Washington, D.C. – Receiving the diagnosis of an illness can be a confusing time for anyone.  Will I be able to handle the treatment?  How will I balance my care with the needs of my family?  How will this affect my job?  Who will help me figure all this out?

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) proudly announces National Social Work Month 2007.

This year’s theme – Hope and Health: Help Starts Here – highlights the important role of health social workers in the well-being of their clients.  More than simply treating a disease or illness, health social workers take a holistic, psychosocial approach for providing the best overall care possible for the client and their family.

“Social workers in the health setting remove barriers to effective treatment for a client,” says Elizabeth Clark, Ph.D., ACSW, MPH, executive director of NASW.  “They provide hope throughout the course of an illness, helping clients to overcome their initial crisis and look to the future.”

As an integral member of the interdisciplinary team, more than 110,000 health care social workers across the country act as the advocate for a client’s needs and guide them in making decisions about their physical and emotional care.  Social workers also work with the family through counseling or support groups.

“Social workers play a key role in the quality of care for clients in hospitals and clinics,” said Dr. Clark. “Social workers see a client through the entire trajectory of their illness – from diagnosis to treatment to recovery and beyond.”

Social Work Month also provides an opportunity for social workers to highlight the essential role they play in alleviating some of America’s most difficult problems.  Through education, training and dedication, social workers provide assistance in many different practice areas including aging, mental health, child welfare, cancer, end of life, adolescent health, HIV/AIDS, and family violence.

Social workers are essential to the hope and health of their clients.  To find comprehensive information about the role of social work and where to go for assistance for these and other issues, visit www.HelpStartsHere.org.

“Social workers have the unique ability to look at person’s situation from a broad perspective,” added Dr. Clark.  “We understand that the best health care requires a broad view of social, environmental, psychological, spiritual, and economic options.”

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The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, D.C., is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 150,000 members.  It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers.  NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.

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