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Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that works toward improving the functioning of individuals, groups and communities.

The primary mission of the social work profession is to improve the well-being of individuals, paying special attention to people who experience human suffering in the form of poverty, oppression, and are at risk. Historically, the social work profession views individuals within the context of their social environment. If a person is having challenges, a social worker seeks to identify the outside forces contributing to problems in living. When an intervention is considered between the client and the social work, both the individual and environmental factors are included in overcoming the problem. 


Social workers promote social justice, are sensitive to ethnic and cultural diversity, and work toward ending discrimination on a micro, mezzo and macro level. Social workers not only engage in direct practice, but also supervise, organize communities, create and implement policy, engage in research and education. Social workers believe in self-determination and have confidence in the individual’s ability to solve their own problems.

Check out the many notable social workers' contributions to the mental health system under the SOCIAL WORK section of

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