We all benefit from their efforts to keep our communities healthy, safe, and livable.
Ottawa (21 March 2016) — This is National Social Work Month and I encourage you to reflect on the ways that community service workers support you, your family, and your entire community.
Sadly, the people who use community services are often stigmatized meaning that many people prefer to think of community services as things that other people use.
We all benefit
The truth is we all benefit from a range of community services.
When you think that at least one in five Canadians has a mental health problem the number of people who rely on, or would benefit from, some form of community service is very large.
Or there are the elderly who need help living in their own home or who are transitioning to long-term care. They and their families directly depend on community services.
Think about your neighbours with a disabled child or adult in their home. Or who have a family member in a group home or assisted living residence. Or the women and children made vulnerable through violence, abuse or exploitation.
We benefit when our own or our family’s needs are met by these services. And we all benefit when the needs of people in our communities are met.
What kind of community do you want to live in?
Think about it this way: Do you want to be part of a community where the most vulnerable people are left to fend for themselves? Do you want to be part of a community where people suffering mental illness, disability or addiction problems end up jail? Do you want to be part of a community where people facing spousal or child abuse are forced into homelessness?
Community service workers help keep our communities healthy and safe.
Take time this month to thank and celebrate someone who does community service work. They are helping to keep our communities healthy, safe, and livable.
NUPGE National President
James Clancy is the National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE