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(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Behavioral Wellness is helping celebrate this year’s Social Work Month theme “Social Work Breaks Barriers,” and highlight how social workers have enriched our society by empowering people and communities to overcome hurdles that prevent them from living life to the fullest.  Each March, Social Work Month is celebrated broadly.

People become social workers because they have a strong desire to help others and make society a better place. Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). More than 700,000 professional social workers are hard at work nationwide, but that number is expected to rise to almost 800,000 by 2030, BLS said.

Social work began more than a century ago. The profession can trace a large part of its origins to Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Star, who in 1889 opened Hull House in Chicago to provide social services to the area, which had a large immigrant population

In the 1960s, past NASW President Whitney M. Young Jr., worked in collaboration with President Johnson and other leaders during the turbulent Civil Rights era to break down the barrier of employment discrimination so Black people could get access to better paying jobs.

Behavioral Wellness has 20 licensed clinical social workers and 21 associate social workers who provide service within the overall system of care which includes Behavioral Wellness programs, community-based organizations and network providers. These staff fill a variety of roles within the system including managers, team supervisors, coordinators, clinical supervisors and direct service providers. Social workers filling these roles support an array of clinical services including assessments, case management, and therapy for populations ranging in age from birth to older adults.  They help to break barriers in a variety of settings including clinics, schools, hospitals, residential treatment, personal homes as well as in the broader community. 

“Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.” — NASW Code of Ethics

To learn more about Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness please visit  For assistance with accessing Behavioral Wellness services call the 24/7 toll free Crisis Response and Services Access Line at (888) 868-1649.  


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