May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) wishes to bring attention to the importance of mental health as it affects millions of people in the United States. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), each year 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 youths ages 6-17 deal with mental illness. The impact has been further exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. While the pandemic has greatly affected the overall safety and wellbeing of the population, it has also highlighted longstanding issues with accessing care. A statical report from NAMI indicated 11% of those who are mentally ill in the United States were uninsured in 20201. The same report also found 148 million people in this country live in areas with a shortage of mental health providers.
Additional information from NAMI shows the rate of mental illness among adults of different demographic groups are as follows1:
- Caucasian: 22.6%
- African American: 17.3%
- Latino/Hispanic 18.4%
- Asian 13.9%
- Indigenous/Alaskan Natives:18.7%
- Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 16.6%
- Mixed/multiracial (Non-Hispanic): 35.8%
- Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual: 47.4%
The social work profession has always played a vital role in addressing the mental health needs of individuals, families, and communities. Social workers remain dedicated to ensuring the populations they serve have access to much needed resources and support. In addition to acknowledging those impacted by mental illness, NASW provides valuable information and resources to social workers who help them.
Animal-Assisted Therapy for Depression
This article provides an overview of animal-assisted therapy as it relates to treating depression. This includes how animal assisted therapy works, associated benefits and risk, as well as outlook.
Department of Labor Launches Campaign Promoting Mental Health Support in Workplaces
Department of Labor reveals its new public education campaign highlighting the importance of mental-health-friendly workplaces.
Help for Mental Illnesses
The National Institute of Mental Health provides information and resources to those who are struggling emotionally or have concerns about their mental health.
Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Farm Families in Times of Economic Distress
Given recent global economic and climate trends, including those induced by the COVID-19 public health emergency, behavioral health consequences related to economic distress will likely continue as a public health concern for the foreseeable future. The RUPRI Health Panel offers guidance for specific Federal and State policy responses to address the behavioral health needs of rural farm families.
Mental Health Resources for Black, Indigenous, And People of Color (BIPOC)
This page provides educational materials and mental health resources for Black, Latin, A/0/X, Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander and other People of Color, and LGBTQIA+ communities.
NASW Policy Statement on Mental Health
NASW maintains its commitment to enhancing the well-being of people living with mental illness and working toward increased access to appropriate services and interventions. The association is committed to improving mental health services and advocates for public policy advocacy to improve the quality of care, access, reimbursement, research, and education in mental health. The complete policy statement can be found in the 12th edition of Social Work Speaks, which is a comprehensive and unabridged collection of policies adopted and revised by the NASW Delegate Assembly. This edition includes updated policy statements on a wide range of topics, including mental health, human rights, and healthcare.
Need to talk to someone? (Warmlines)
A warmline is a phone number you call to have a conversation with someone who can provide support during hard times. Whether you’re in crisis or just need someone to talk to, a warmline can help. Warmlines are staffed by trained peers who have been through their own mental health struggles and know what it’s like to need help. Most states in the US have warmlines. However, if there’s no warmline in your state or if you feel uncomfortable calling a local line, many warmlines do accept calls from all over the country. Mental Health America keeps the list of local lines as up to date as possible, but you can also check warmline.org for additional listings and more information about warmlines.
Secondary Traumatic Stress: Understanding the Impact on Professionals in Trauma-Exposed Workplaces
Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) is the emotional distress that results when an individual hears about the firsthand trauma experiences of another. For child-serving professionals who are exposed to details of traumatic events and/or individuals suffering from post-traumatic distress in the context of their work. Through the content in this course, you will learn the risks associated with working with individuals who are suffering with traumatic stress symptoms, strategies to reduce the impact of secondary traumatic stress (STS) and support wellness in staff, and finally, how addressing STS is an ethical mandate for organizations and individuals working in trauma-exposed environments.
Applying Evidence-Based Treatments for Child Traumatic Stress Reactions to COVID-19-Related Deaths
This webinar describes trauma-focused evidence-based treatments (EBT) for children and teens who develop traumatic stress reactions, with specific applications to familial deaths during COVID-19 for 1) young children; 2) American Indian and Alaskan Native families; 3) Black and Latino/Latina adolescents with adjunct peer support components; and 4) diverse youth provided via telehealth. To date, more than 800,000 individuals in the US have died from COVID-19 and more than 140,000 children and teens have lost parents or primary caregivers to COVID-19-related deaths. Many of these youth are at heightened risk for developing traumatic stress reactions to these deaths.
Are Families Getting the Help They Need? Making Services More Accessible
This webinar is located on the NASW Social Work Online CE Institute and examines the cracks in current systems of care and what can be done to make services more accessible.
May 11, 2022
988 is Not a Joke – National Suicide Prevention Hotline Launch
SAMHSA and HUD will introduce SAMHSA’s new Suicide Prevention Hotline (988). The webinar will also address suicide prevention for youth and the BIPOC community, in addition to touching on substance use.
Access Code: 8477433#
May 16, 2022
5th Annual Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day Symposium
This event is co-sponsored with the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Registration is free and includes a full day of sessions on how to best meet the mental health needs of older adults.
May 18, 2022
Get Help – Reducing Stigma Associated with Mental Health
SAMHSA and HUD will focus on reducing stigma associated with mental health, to encourage those with potential mental health issues to seek professional help. This webinar will also concentrate on the BIPOC community, addressing stigma specific to these populations.
Access Code: 5955873#
May 25, 2022
Now What? – Mental Health Issues in Post-COVID America
SAMHSA and HUD will examine how to address mental health issues in post-COVID America. Besides the physical toll the pandemic took on Americans, it has also greatly affected our nation’s mental health. This webinar will discuss how to handle and move past multiple co-occurring pandemics, using a mental health focus on substance use disorder, housing, work, education, and transportation among other relevant topics.
Access Code: 6268721#
June 8, 2022
Dismantling Barriers and Recognizing Bias: Transformative Social Work Practice in the Treatment and Prevention of Human Sex Trafficking
This workshop is located on the NASW Social Work Online CE Institute and is designed to provide attendees with 1) a foundational training in human sex trafficking that includes definitions, background of human trafficking laws, barriers and gaps in services, and addresses issues of intersectionality and oppression that are often missing from the dominant narrative; 2) an overview of a multidisciplinary team model and opportunities to explore ways in which the removal of silos can transform preventative measures in addition to community and treatment outcomes in the domain of human trafficking; 3) an introduction to clinical interventions and safety planning when working with children suspected to and/or confirmed to be victims or survivors of human sex trafficking.
June 13, 2022
Working with Muslims
This training is located on the NASW Social Work Online CE Institute. Participants will gain insight into the Muslim faith and understand differences in cultural and spiritual values and help clinicians avoid microaggressions. The training will discuss issues of concern when working with Muslims and Arabic and Islamic terminology. For many Muslim people, faith influences everyday activity and decision making, family, and their own mental health; for others, it may be more of a cultural touchpoint, just as there are secular people in other faiths. Clinicians will leave the class with a broad understanding of Islamic beliefs. We will provide tools and resources to help the clinician to provide the best individualized and culturally competent care possible.
June 15, 2022
Information Session: NIMH Intramural Research Program Training Opportunities
This event is sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, Office of Fellowship Training. Join the Office of Fellowship Training for a virtual information session to learn about a variety of National Institutes of Health (NIH) training programs, exciting research being done in NIMH IRP laboratories, and chat with current NIMH trainees. The sessions are appropriate for undergraduates, graduate students, medical students, and postdoctoral fellows.
July 27, 2022
Effective Business Practices in Workplace Mental Health
This webinar will focus on recommendations that incorporate leadership investment, managerial support, and employee empowerment as drivers for positive workplace culture and employee mental health.
August 2–3, 2022
25th National Institute of Mental Health Conference on Mental Health Services Research (MHSR)
The 25th NIMH Conference on Mental Health Services Research (MHSR): Transforming Challenges into New Opportunities brings together leading mental health services researchers, as well as clinicians, mental health advocates, and federal and non-federal partners. MHSR 2022 will highlight scientific opportunities for the next generation of high-impact research to drive mental health care improvement.
August 11, 2022
Workplace Mental Health: Employer Perspective
Mental Health America (MHA) and the National Organization on Disability (NOD) present “Workplace Mental Health: Employer Perspective,” a panel discussion with leaders in the disability and employee mental health and well-being arenas. With a combined decade of experience, our panelists will explore how their philosophies and approaches to workplace mental health have transformed to meet today’s demand for better employee mental health and well-being.
September 22, 2022
Center of Deployment Psychology (CDP) Presents: Dyadic Interventions – Involving Significant Others in Suicide Prevention
CDP will be hosting a 90-minute webinar entitled “Dyadic interventions: Involving Significant Others in Suicide Prevention.” Additional information, including an expanded event description, learning objectives and CE details, will be added as the event date nears.
Denise Johnson, LCSW-C
Senior Practice Associate, Clinical Social Work
1 Mental health by the Numbers. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://nami.org/mhstats