GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Social workers across the country are celebrating Social Work Month.Clinical social workers are now the largest group of mental health providers in the country. They support patients and assist them in the recovery process.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s more than 680,000 social work professionals in the United States.Many of them work in hospitals like Baystate Franklin Medical Center, and are trained to help patients and families deal with a variety of health issues.

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This includes helping patients with substance dependence and combat stress.“We help family and patients navigate the many dimensions of what illness brings to life and sometimes that can really chaotic and really stressful,” said Nathalie Fischer-Rodriguez, oncology social worker at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.Fischer-Rodridguez told 22News they also help patients get resources to pay for treatments and adjusting to life outside the hospital.Fischer Rodriguez said the Oncology Department recently began a “pilot” stress management class for cancer patients.They hope to expand the class to more patients in the hospital.