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Self-care and wellness for the helping professions

Our study explores these questions:

  • Will MSW students self-select to participate in wellness opportunities on their own or when offered with easy access via online and face-to-face programming?
  • Will participation in these wellness activities affect the stress level and quality of life?
  • Will level of stress and quality of life be associated with types of wellness?
  • Will level of stress and quality of life be associated with other demographic variables (age, ethnicity/race, faith, gender affiliation, sexual orientation, ability)?

Helping professionals, such as social workers, clinical psychologists and other counselors tend to carry large caseloads and work long hours with little or no time to promote their own wellness. This can lead to burn out, even among students in helping profession graduate programs. For example, graduate students in social work report high levels of stress from course workload, internships and course content about human suffering, coupled with limited time for wellness.

This project will...

  1. Assess the self-report of stress level, quality of life and the number and type of self-care/wellness opportunities in which MSW student participants engage
  2. Use the research to illuminate the affects of self-care/wellness programs for graduate students in social work and extrapolate to other helping professions
  3. Use the research to build subsequent self-care/wellness programs for helping profession graduate students