March 6 to 12 is Social Work Week in Ontario, and across Canada, March is National Social Work Month. Learn more about how #SocialWorkIsEssential to #MobilizingMentalHealth access across Ontario, and join us in celebrating this essential work.


Every day, social workers support people in navigating complex systems. We are uniquely positioned to identify and fill systemic gaps, provide key services and programs, and connect communities to what they need, all while applying our skills to build a more just world.

This Social Work Week and National Social Work Month, OASW joins the Canadian Association of Social Workers in recognizing and spotlighting the many facets of social work practice that enhance the health and well-being of people, families and communities.

The theme #SocialWorkIsEssential speaks to the diverse and essential nature of our profession, from providing critical support, to navigating complicated health, mental health and social services systems, mobilizing mental health access for Ontarians and Canadians.


March 6 to 12 is Social Work Week in Ontario, and all month long we join in celebrating National Social Work Month. Both are critical opportunities to recognize the dedication, hard work and accomplishments of our amazing profession.

Our coordinated national and provincial efforts shine a light on the invaluable contributions of social workers in supporting health, mental health and well-being across complex systems and settings. From identifying gaps, reducing barriers, and providing critical care, Ontario’s 22,000 social workers connect people, families and communities to the mental health and social supports they need.

After multiple challenging years marked by change and uncertainty in all aspects of our personal and professional lives, the immense importance of mental health has never been more clear. And yet, despite this clarity, Ontarians continue to face significant barriers to accessing the supports they need. This Social Work Week and National Social Work Month, I am calling on social workers across Ontario to take action on mental health.

Ontario’s decision-makers need to hear how we can work together to increase access to vital mental health supports in the systems and settings Ontarians engage with every day. Help amplify our message by contacting your Member of Provincial Parliament – our mobilizer tool makes this possible at the touch of button.

As the largest provider of mental health services in the province, we know Ontario’s social workers are essential to accelerating and expanding access to mental health care. That’s why we’ve chosen to center this in our theme, our Strategic Plan, and our new vision of mobilizing mental health and well-being across Ontario.

As social workers, you are on the frontlines every day providing vital assessment, treatment, case management and system navigation. In multiple health care settings, long-term care, schools, community mental health, private practice and more, you are there to intervene early, reduce barriers to care, and deliver the quality mental health support that individuals, families, and communities need.

This role is not easy. While we tirelessly promote and support the wellness of others, it’s imperative that we take care of ourselves and each other. Social Work Week gives us a chance to reflect on all we have accomplished – to celebrate the victories, connect with each other, and pause and take some time for our own self-care.

With that in mind, I invite you to join us for Mental Health Mondays in March, where will be offering free virtual sessions for OASW members as a token of gratitude for the incredible work that you do. I hope that you will take the time to start your week off right, by tuning into your needs and attending to your well-being.

Excitingly, as we return to in-person gatherings, I encourage you to connect with your colleagues and celebrate our profession by attending one of the many celebrations hosted by our Local Engagement Networks in communities across the province.

As we celebrate each other and this incredible profession, I want to offer my gratitude to every single social worker in Ontario. The work you do every day makes an immense difference. Social work is essential, and your work deserves to be recognized as such.

Deepy Sur, MSW, PhD, RSW
CEO, Ontario Association of Social Workers

SOURCE: Ontario Association of Social Workers

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