Mental Health

Social Work Month 2021: Social Workers Are Essential


Social work is a noble profession.

Those who answer the call to become social workers are dedicated to “improving well-being and enhancing the basic needs of all people – especially the most vulnerable among us.” This is more important than ever in 2021.

Every March, we honor the hundreds of thousands of social workers nationwide; this year, the theme for Social Work Month is “Social Workers are Essential,” and for the nearly 300 social workers throughout Sheppard Pratt, this proclamation has never been more accurate or timely.

At Sheppard Pratt, we have always known that social workers are essential – but the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown how truly vital social workers are to our society, and to the care we provide to one another.

We want to commend the Sheppard Pratt social workers for not only how vitally important they have always been, but especially with how they have performed these past 12 months.

Here are just some of the ways our social workers have been an integral part of the Sheppard Pratt team throughout the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • In our hospitals, social workers have ensured that patients can remain connected to their family members and outside supports through care coordination, communication with loved ones, and navigating family visits – while maintaining safety for all.
  • In our outpatient mental health centers and Virtual Crisis Walk-In Clinic, social workers have provided hundreds of thousands of critical virtual therapy services, including therapy, suicide assessments and collaborative safety plans, and coordinating care with schools and other agencies – ensuring that Marylanders can access lifesaving care throughout the pandemic. 
  • In our 13 special education schools, social workers have not missed a beat with provision and continuation of services for our students and families, and have steadfastly offered counseling, family meetings, intake for new students, therapeutic groups, peer mediation, and more. 
  • As members of our in-home and in-community teams, social workers have continued to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our society have access to not just the mental health care they need, but their physical health care as well. 
  • In our school-based prevention and intervention programs, social workers have addressed food insecurity through the distribution of thousands of meals, collected and distributed well over 1,000 gifts during the holiday season, kept families creatively engaged through opportunities like virtual cooking classes (including recipe kits), and more.
  • In our school-based counseling programs, social workers have remained as supportive figures in children’s lives during a time of disconnect and crisis – and have continued to advocate for the social and emotional needs of students, helping them to identify support systems and provide a supportive listening ear.

Needless to say, Sheppard Pratt social workers are essential to us providing compassionate care to tens of thousands of people in need every year. 

Please join us in thanking these essential workers – on social media, use #SWMonth #SocialWorkIsEssential and #SocialWorkMonth to give a shout-out to a social worker in your life. Don’t forget to tag @SheppardPratt when you do!