Social Work
Most people know that social workers exist, however, most people don’t fully understand what Social Workers do and the many ways that they can help.  If they know one personally, they know they work hard and invest a lot of time and themselves in the people that they help. March is a whole month dedicated to these amazing, self-sacrificing people who serve others in more ways than we will probably ever know.
What is a social worker? A social worker is someone who helps people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. They are available to assist with healthcare, aging, advocacy, child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, research, policy, developmental disabilities and more.

 

Oncology social workers help patients, families and caregivers as they deal with a cancer diagnosis. They help with the emotional, social, psychological and spiritual issues, as well as many practical needs. Social workers will look at all aspects of your life and can provide information and guidance in ways you can’t even imagine and these services are usually free.

Assistance with depression or stress management, talking with children or employers about a diagnosis, palliative care, and finding community resources to help with expenses, transportation and other problems are some of the ways a social worker can make a difference to you or your family. Social workers can help with insurance matters and financial assistance programs as well as advance directives. A list of resources in the area is usually at the ready so that you can save time doing research. A social worker can help with decision-making about treatments, changes at different stages of survivorship, and can be a continual support throughout a cancer experience or for a short period of time. In-house social workers can help with communication of other members of the healthcare team.

 

It’s important to reach out early in your diagnosis and not wait until issues become challenging. If the services of a social worker are not offered to you by your cancer healthcare team, ask if one is available where you are being treated or in the area who is familiar with the needs of cancer patients. CancerCare.org has a network of services and social workers available to help with all areas of life affected by a cancer diagnosis.

Asking for help is one more way to help take control of your cancer, find support, and live your best life with a cancer diagnosis.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) will help lead the 2022 Social Work Month celebration in March with the theme “The Time is Right for Social Work,” which underscores the contributions social workers have made to this nation for more than a century and how the services they provide are needed more than ever as our nation addresses economic inequality, systemic racism, the need for improved health and mental health care, Covid-19 and other issues.

Take part by learning more about social workers, seeking help if needed, and thanking the social workers in your life.

“Each day, social workers empower millions of Americans so they can live life to their fullest potential. Social workers also work in communities and in politics to improve living conditions for all. During Social Work Month we urge you to learn more about our amazing profession, thank the social workers in your lives, and help support the profession.”

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