sharp pencil with jumbled letters behind it - Tips and tools for social workers

NASW Recognizes the Importance of Mental Health Awareness

By Denise Johnson, LCSW-C, NASW Senior Practice Associate for Clinical Social Work

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is proud to announce that May is Mental Health Awareness Month! During this month, the association recognizes the importance of mental health, and the vital role social workers play in supporting people with mental illness.

This month will serve as an opportunity for social workers to come together and discuss important topics related to mental health, from identifying signs and symptoms of mental health problems to finding ways to build healthy coping strategies. It is also a time to bring attention to the importance of self-care and to promote increased awareness of mental health issues in our communities. NASW invites social workers to join us in this conversation and to help lead the charge in promoting mental health.

Taking part in Mental Health Awareness Month allows for a safe and supportive space for individuals, families, and communities to discuss and address mental health challenges. NASW would like to thank social workers for their commitment to promoting mental health awareness and well-being in their communities. NASW provides the following list of resources to help social workers raise mental health awareness during the month of May.

Webinars and Other Events

On Demand (Original Program Date: March 23, 2023)
Ethical Social Work with Suicidal People

This webinar can be found on the NASW Social Work Online CE Institute. In this webinar we unpacked some of the ethical issues that social workers encounter when working with suicidal clients and their families, including when to break confidentiality, how to work with parents of a suicidal teenager, and what are the professional standards of care for suicidal clients.

May 3,2023
A Discussion on School Based Violence: A Description, Prevalence and Tools for Social Workers

This presentation is available at NASW’s Social Work Online CE Institute and provides an overview of youth violence and aggression in schools. In addition, different types of youth violence, the problems associated with violence, and strategies for working with school violence are described.

May 4, 2023
Facebook Live: Understanding Schizophrenia

During the event, National Institute of Mental Health experts Robert Heinssen, Ph.D., ABPP, senior advisor for learning health care research and practice, and Sarah E. Morris, Ph.D., chief of the Adult Psychopathology and Psychosocial Interventions Research Branch, will lead a discussion on the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, risk factors, treatments, as well as the latest NIMH-supported research on schizophrenia. No registration is required for this free event. Watch the live event on NIMH’s Facebook page.

May 11, 2023
6th annual Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day Symposium

The National Council on Aging is proud to host the 6th 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.

Additional Resources


Reenvisioning Therapy with Women of Color

This unique and unapologetic book vividly explores the complex mental health experiences of Women of Color and gives therapists and educators a deeper understanding of the complex problems that Women of Color bring into treatment.

Social Work in an Online World: A Guide to Digital Practice

Social Work in an Online World is available on NASW Press. This book discusses the changing landscape from analog to digital practice in varied client systems, system needs, and system levels (micro, mezzo, and macro). Going beyond online mental health service, which is largely individually focused and synchronously delivered, the authors offer a map of digital social work practice that can be expanded to include support, identity, community action, education, and psychoeducation.

South Asians in the United States: A Guide for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals

This book, which is available on NASW Press address challenges that South Asians face in the United States. Using an intersectionality framework, the authors bring together previously fragmented research into this population and explain through case studies the topics particularly relevant to South Asians, including domestic violence, mental health, parenting, gender and sexual orientation, workplace barriers, and aging.


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI provides support and education for people and their families affected by mental illness. On their website, visitors can find a variety of resources including support groups, helplines, blogs, webinars, and more. They also provide information on advocacy efforts and how to get involved in NAMI initiatives.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

NIMH is the nation’s leading federal agency for research on mental health issues. The website provides information about mental health and mental illnesses, as well as research and clinical trials related to mental health. It also provides resources and information for individuals, families, and health professionals.

Social Work Online CE Institute

NASW has created several resources to help social workers meet their professional development needs. Members can also receive continuing education credits for free or at a discounted rate.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Practitioner Training Resources

SAMHSA offers tools, training, and technical assistance to practitioners in the fields of mental health and substance use disorders. A toolkit of resources is also included on their website in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.