Social Work Month in March is a time to celebrate the great profession of social work. The theme for Social Work Month 2021 is Social Workers Are Essential. Social workers are essential to community well-being.
With the Covid-19 pandemic causing so much uncertainty, fear, stress, anxiety and grief it’s imperative to share stories of hope and inspiration. As an essential social worker, I have provided vital food to food insecure families since September and returned to school to support students in person.
I have also shared my story of overcoming the debilitating effects of anxiety and depression, including during an episode on NASW’s Social Work Talks Podcast. I hope my story and advice are inspirational and help destigmatize mental illness. It is also a story I think is deserving to be told during Social Work Month.
The public knows the amazing work done by the doctors, nurses, police officers and firefighters but social workers are often left out. Some famous social workers are Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple and Civil Rights icon Dorothy Height, who received the Congressional Gold Medal and other prestigious awards and honors.
As for me, I am releasing my book, “I Think I’m Going Crazy: Hope for Adults Battling Stress, Anxiety, and Depression.” Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States with more than 700,000 members but Black male social workers are a rarity representing less than five percent of the overall workforce. People need to hear about these exceptional role models and public servants.
Darryl Webster, MSW, has been a school social worker in Washington, D.C. for 25 years. He specializes in working with children with severe and profound disabilities. Webster was named 2007 National Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Commission; 2018 Social Worker of the Year from the NASW Maryland Chapter; a National Hero by USA Today, and a 1988 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine.