This week, I was thrilled to recieve word from NASW’s national office in DC, that they are officially endorsing The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, leading the way for state chapters to also begin working locally on growing constituent and legislative support/sponsorship.
As a social worker who is very proud of the profession’s contributions to mental health and health care initiatives, this welcome endorsement signifies that we can now reach out to the enormous body of social work healthcare providers and affiliated organizations who represent the front lines of assessment, identification and treatment of these disorders.
We are thankful for the endorsement of this powerful and dedicated group and look forward to working with them to do all we can to ensure passage of this long overdue legislation!
Social workers not only provide education and outreach to new mothers in neonatal and OB/GYN practices across America in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, they are also among the top providers of mental health services. This sometimes comes as a surprise to consumers who may associate the profession with policy development, governmental agency work and discharge planning; all worthy and critical social work roles of great responsibility. But additionally, licensed clinical social workers are increasingly charged with crucial psychosocial assessments, psycho education and mental health interventions during pregnancy, the postpartum and throughout the many challenges which may present across the life cycle.
Social workers can be agency or private practitioners with specialties in women’s reproductive mental health and also act as maternal and child care advocates. Their licensure requires constant training and education making them among the most reliable professionals for referral of services. They have historically been connected to every initiaitve seeking to reduce barriers to the services that American families need to optimize mental and physical health.