Celebrating Social Workers Awareness Month Through a Trauma-Informed Lens

March is Social Workers Awareness Month! We would like to express our utmost gratitude to social workers for the challenging and complex work they do. Their dedication positively impacts communities across New York State every day. Through empowerment, celebration, and trauma-informed care, we support social workers and are committed to providing resources to assist in their important work.

What’s the Scoop on Social Work?

According to the University of Buffalo School of Social Work, social workers are mental health professionals who assist individuals and families as they navigate difficult challenges and hardships. Social Workers advocate for their clients and work to find resources an individual or a family may need. 

In short, social workers aim to create a healthier community.

While social workers specialize in many areas of expertise with years of training, it is possible they will be exposed to some level of stress and trauma. As social workers manage large caseloads and support people in navigating their needs and challenges within systems and through counseling support, it is not uncommon for social workers to experience long days, frequent problem-solving, emotionally exhausting situations, and possible vicarious trauma.

When providing such crucial services to the community, taking care of ourselves is important, too.

Practicing Self-Care

A social worker’s environment often includes doing their work while their client is currently experiencing a traumatic moment in time.  As social workers figure out the best ways to help their clients, social workers need to take care of themselves, too.

 

“Compassion fatigue is all too common… with over 70% of social workers experiencing it to some degree.”

 

National Association of Social Workers 

Resources

Manage Workplace Stress

Social workers are consistently faced with workplace stress, and it can take a mental toll. While it might not be possible to alleviate every workplace stressor, learning to manage stress more effectively can make a difference.

       Practice Breath-Body-Mind (BBM) BBM is an evidence-based practice that teaches breathing and relaxation techniques to help calm and regulate our nervous systems. These can be practiced anywhere and are a great way to practice mindfulness on the go.

       These resources from Vibrant Emotional Health offer tools for dealing with high-stress situations and rebalancing ourselves during crises.

       The State of Minnesota’s Department of Health offers helpful information on addressing workplace stress for healthcare workers, along with wellness tips and helplines.

 

Additional Frontline Worker Support

Social workers can also utilize NYS TINRC as a resource. Our resources and organization directories are frequently updated with new partners, information, and resources that can help all of us become more trauma-informed and uplift each other.

 

Coming soon! Our new Frontline Workers Wellness Toolkit will be available soon as an all-inclusive guide with practical resources to reduce stress and benefit our frontline workers and organizations that do so much for our communities.