Help Starts Here
HelpStartsHere.org provides visitors with information about four key areas of social work practice: aging, children and family services, mental health, and public health. The Web site was created to provide individuals and families with timely information about problems they face every day, and to offer resources that can help them cope successfully.
The new site contains current trends, service options, tip sheets, and real life stories, among other content. It also encourages visitors to search a user-friendly “Social Worker Finder” tool if they need professional assistance. Social workers in multiple disciplines contributed materials to the site.
“One of the essential missions of professional social work is helping clients live empowered and improved lives,” says Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers. “We hope the information on HelpStartsHere.org will be a valuable resource for millions of people and their families.”
Kids and Family – Social workers attend to the needs of the entire family. This section addresses topics such as youth development, schools and communities, healthy parenting, adoptions and foster care, family safety and early childhood development.
Mind and Spirit – Mental health social workers treat the whole person in the context of their environment. Issues such as depression, suicide, anxiety, stress management, grief and loss, relationships and eating disorders are covered here.
Health and Wellness – Social workers are part of the core team of health professionals at many hospitals and clinics, working closely with doctors, nurses and other health care providers. Issues include living with illness, death and dying, disabilities, cancer, HIV/AIDS and healthy lifestyles.
Seniors and Aging – Social workers help older people and their families navigate decisions about mental health, housing options, and end-of-life care. This section addresses residential long-term care, caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia, vital aging and lifespan planning.
HelpStartsHere.org is a key component of a larger public education campaign about the social work profession. The national campaign, which launched this year, seeks to not only change perceptions of who can benefit from social work services, but also to increase student interest in social work as a career.