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The theme for 2023 is Social Work Breaks Barriers 

Sault Tribe Behavioral Health celebrates this year’s Social Work Month in March with the theme “Social Work Breaks Barriers,” to highlight how social workers have enriched our society by empowering people and communities to overcome hurdles that prevent them from living life to the fullest. 

The annual Social Work Month campaign in March is a time to inform public, policymakers, and legislators about how social workers have always broken barriers when it comes to the services they provide in an array of sectors, including hospitals and mental health centers, federal, state and local government, schools, community centers, and social service agencies. 

People become social workers because they have a strong desire to help others and make society a better place. Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). More than 700,000 professional social workers are hard at work nationwide, but that number is expected to rise to more than 800,000 by 2030, BLS said. 

Social work began more than a century ago. The profession can trace a large part of its origins to Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Star, who in 1889 opened Hull House in Chicago to provide social services to the area, which had a large immigrant population. 

Other social work pioneers include anti-lynching advocate and women’s rights activist Ida B. Wells and George Edmund Haynes, a social worker who was co-founder of the National Urban League. In the 1960s, past NASW President Whitney M. Young Jr. worked in collaboration with President Johnson and other leaders during the turbulent Civil Rights era to break down the barrier of employment discrimination so Black people could get access to better paying jobs. 

Social workers have helped drive significant, positive changes in our nation. Frances Perkins, the first female Labor Secretary during the Great Depression, and others, helped secure benefits we continue to see used today, such as the 40-hour work week, minimum wage, and Social Security benefits. 

Here are the Sault Tribe Behavioral Health social workers who are continuing to break barriers today: 

– Mallinda Lumsden, LMSW Clinical Social Worker, Behavioral Health Clinical Supervisor 
– NeTausha Moran-Bergsma, LMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Denise Lyons, LMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Rafael Aguirre, LMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Alexa Jones, LMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Kristin Kempf-Roffers, LMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Nicole Kozal, LLMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Rebecca Patzwald, LMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Mark Senkus, LMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Christina Reynolds-Burlak, LMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Rebeckah Zaragoza, LMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Candace Dennis, LMSW Clinical Social Worker
– Lenny Carpentier-McLean, BH Counselor

Each day, these social workers break barriers and continue to help our people live the best lives possible. During Social Work Month we urge you to educate yourselves about this amazing profession, thank the social workers in your lives, and help support the profession.

If you are struggling with substance use or your mental health, the Sault Tribe Behavioral Health Program is always available for assistance. Please call (906) 635-6075. A screening can be done for services or Urgent Care services are available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Behavioral Health offers therapy services, prevention services, and sober living homes for those in need. Please call for a more detailed description of services.

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY