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May 2022 - Southern District Update

Diona Shelton, LCSW, CATP, CCT

Southern District Chair

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

For many individuals, the month of May represents the hope for warmer days and the anticipation for the summer months. For social workers and other mental health professionals, May is a time to bring awareness to mental health and the impact that trauma has on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of individuals, children, families, and communities. Our nation has made tremendous advancements in bringing awareness to the public’s attention on the importance of mental health. Social workers are essential to this role and seek to combat the stigma associated with mental health by providing education, support, treatment, and advocacy to the needs of people living with mental health conditions.

The NASW proudly acknowledges May as Mental Health Awareness Month and recognizes the critical role that social workers play in helping to break the stigma related to mental health. As you enter the month of May, let us be intentional in our efforts to continue to educate the public on matters of mental health for the betterment of society and the clients with whom we serve.

Best regards,

Diona Shelton, LCSW, CATP, CCTP

NASW-IL Southern District Chair


2022 NASW-Illinois Chapter Elections

Please stay tuned! Election results will be posted to the chapter website in mid-May.

Group Participants Needed for NASW-IL Workforce Diversity Focus Group

In our continued efforts regarding strengthening the social work workforce in Illinois, the NASW-Illinois Chapter received additional funding to develop, Strategies to Strengthen the Social Work Workforce Diversity Pipeline in Illinois, from the Telligen Community Initiative (TCI). Part of this wide ranging grant will be examining barriers to entry to the social work profession by establishing five focus groups across the state of Illinois with under-represented communities (Black Latinx, Asian, Native American) social workers. Find out more here:

NEW! 2022 NASW-Illinois Chapter Social Work Awards

Deadline: Sunday, July 31, 2022

Awards season is now OPEN! Nominations are now being accepted for the annual NASW-Illinois Chapter Social Work Awards! This year, we are looking for outstanding individuals whose work has supported and promoted the social work profession and the people it serves. There are four award categories: Social Worker of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Public Citizen of the Year, and Emerging Leader. For more information, go to:

Save the Date! 2022 NASW-Illinois Chapter Hybrid Conference

Mark your calendars! The NASW-Illinois Chapter will be back and meeting in person for this year’s conference! Taking place in a hybrid format, we’ll be offering in-person CEUs on November 17, 2022, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Lisle Naperville in Lisle, IL, and running it back as a live virtual conference on Thursday, December 1, 2022. More info to come later this June, but stay tuned and circle those dates in your calendar!

2021–2023 LSW/LCSW Licensure News and Updates

We announced changes in IDFPR licensure renewal requirements in an article published on November 30, 2021, and updated it with frequently asked questions. We’ve been getting questions from members about whether the in-person CEU waiver will be repeated for the new cycle. Read about that and more here:

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