NASW expanded social work awareness in its outreach during Social Work Month in March. The theme for this year is Social Work Breaks Barriers. Celebrated each March, the Social Work Month campaign helps NASW urge social workers and their supporters to spread the message of the many positive contributions of the profession.
Pictured: A social media post celebrating Social Work Month in March featured Rachel Crandall Crocker, LMSW, executive director and co-founder of Transgender Michigan. She also is an international transgender activist and the founder and organizer of the International Transgender Day of Visibility. The post was one of many that recognized social workers who break barriers.
The text reads: "I hear a lot of people tell me that one person cannot make a difference," she said. "You are wrong.. one person CAN make a difference."
NASW Communications Director Greg Wright said about 115,000 individuals visited the Social Work Month-related websites between February 15 and March 31, 2023. This is close to the same number of visitors during the same time last year. However, Social Work Month posts helped boost NASW’s social media audience significantly in March.
The NASW national Facebook page reach increased more than 300 percent in March over the previous month to 817,729 people and Instagram increased 199 percent to 132,386 people.
NASW’s LinkedIn page views increased 119 percent to 3,820 during March. The association’s Twitter impressions more than doubled during Social Work Month to 282,000 from 101,000 the previous month.
Also during March, NASW’s TikTok videos received 212,581 views; 1,701 likes; 131 comments and 127 shares. That platform now has 1,404 followers. NASW also shared suggested social media language in its Social Work Month toolkit. In all, Social Work Month social media posts increased 39 percent from last year, Wright noted.
Sharing the Message
NASW CEO Anthony Estreet, PhD, MBA, LCSW-C, participated in a radio and news media tour, resulting in an article placement in USA Today and appearances on both WJOL’s Scott Slocum in the Morning and WESR’s Politics on the Edge with Melody Clarke.
The USA Today article featuring Estreet was syndicated to 10 different publications, including Yahoo!, MSN, The Indianapolis Star, The Lansing State Journal, The St. Cloud Times, and The Lafayette Journal & Courier.
The article notes that despite years of medical progress, American children are now less likely to reach adulthood. During the pandemic, children had greater access to firearms and opioids as a mental health crisis deepened, the story says. Researchers claim these factors contributed to the 20 percent increase in pediatric mortality.
In the meantime, experts say it’s important to address the growing mental health crisis and gun safety.
Parents and families need to have conversations about mental health and substance use at home with their children, Estreet says in the article. But schools play a “critical role” in identifying students who may be exhibiting early warning signs, he said.
Although gun policies won’t change overnight, experts say gun safety can be practiced at home. This includes keeping guns and ammunition separate from each other and locking up firearms to prevent children from accessing them.
“That goes hand in hand with responsible gun ownership,” Estreet said in the story. “The more we have those conversations and we push legislation, we might see a reversal of that trend.”
Additional Social Work Month activities included:
- Eight short videos to highlight NASW Social Work Pioneers® and others who broke barriers to improve the lives of millions of people were shared on social media and with the public.
- As a special video project, NASW worked with award-winning journalist Sam Ford, bureau chief of WJLA TV News in Washington, D.C., on a tribute video to his late sister, social worker Vettra Ford.
- NASW chapters were involved with a variety of Social Work Month activities, including a Walk and Wave in Guam, online profiles of social workers who broke barriers in Michigan, and an event where NASW-North Carolina accepted a proclamation from the city of Durham.
- Resolutions were introduced in the U.S. Senate and House (S. Res. 125/H. Res. 257) to honor Social Work Month and commemorate World Social Work Day on March 21.