COVID-19 changed our lives like we never imagined. The outbreak hit us while we were unprepared, and departments such as healthcare had to deal with several issues. The virus not only affected us physically but rendered most of us mentally vulnerable.
In these times of crisis, people belonging to different walks of life played a vital role in keeping society together. Social workers worked with healthcare professionals who have been on the frontline. They helped during public health crises and national emergencies. Social workers played a unique role in dealing with problems as they offered both emotional and mental support to the entire community. So, if you were doubtful about pursuing a social work degree this year, then you may think again.
Role of Social Workers During the Pandemic
Frontline healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses can only help physically. However, social workers are the unsung heroes who have helped families deal with the current crisis mentally and provide them with guidance on how to stay safe. Take a look at some of the following ways a social worker impacts people during the pandemic.
1. Helping with self-care
One of the biggest problems that emerged during the pandemic was the lack of support caused by the much-needed physical and social distancing. As either studying to become a social worker or pursuing masters in social work online during this time, you would understand how hard it is to manage anxiety alone. Social workers play an essential role in developing coping strategies, especially for those who need support in prioritizing self-care.
Work from home, isolation, disruptive routine and homeschooling has amplified stress for millions of people. In these dire times, social workers prove to be someone to form a personal connection with. Thus making it easier to guide people about self-help practices and personalized self-care.
2. Inducing a positive environment
Social workers have a long history of helping communities and individual groups recover from regional crises, wars, recessions, and pandemics. These professionals understand how to turn things around for people suffering from mental illness, anxiety, and other stresses. In the recent pandemic, social workers have been working side-by-side with the affected people and connecting them with a wide range of social services and support systems. Not only that, but they also serve as a trusting pillar for many who look towards them for assistance. Social workers play a pivotal role in inducing a positive environment and encourage the community to prioritize the needs of those who have been affected the most.
3. Stopping the spread of misinformation
The spread of misinformation is still prevalent since many aspects of the virus and its spread have not been appropriately addressed. From home remedies against the virus to obnoxious conspiracy theories, the internet was full of misinformation and fake news throughout the previous year. In the wake of this spread, social workers have been working with families to help them deal with complexities and anxieties arising due to it. The problem with the spread of misinformation is that people refuse to acknowledge the actual issues related to the crisis. Therefore, social workers are responsible for educating the masses and conveying helpful information related to safety guidelines. They can bridge the knowledge gap by providing credible resources and teaching people how to react against fake details responsibly.
4. Professional responsibilities in the field of education
You must now realize the importance of social workers and how much the community needs their support and skills. The educational sector is one of the many that have been drastically affected by the pandemic. Social workers need to offer their support and professional help to the academic community to ensure all students’ protection. They must address students’ needs through evaluation, intervention, prevention, and follow-up work. These can be done through some of the following actions:
- Vulnerable students should be followed-up through video or phone calls with the required persons to identify their problems and needs.
- Social workers can even visit the students at home with all the necessary precautions for a follow-up.
- Social workers should be readily available for schools to support students, teachers, and their families.
- Social workers should follow good practices regarding the privacy of students’ and teachers’ personal information.
- Social workers need to fulfill ethical considerations.
Take away: 2021 is the best year for enrolling in a social work degree
We all understood how vital every healthcare professional is during the pandemic. The affected people required physical and mental checking as the virus deteriorated the entire community’s mental well-being. Social workers have been highly active in playing their role to support, help, and guide the community. They helped to minimize the impacts of COVID-19. So, if you were wondering about pursuing a social work degree, then now would be a great time.