How to look after yourself: our professional resilience debate

On 6 March TCSW held its second debate on the new Communities of Interest platform, on the topic of professional resilience.

Given the stories that have been published over the last few weeks about stress and burn out in mental health and NHS social workers, the debate was another opportunity to share ideas and discuss further the types of work environment that can be conducive to ensuring that social workers' emotional and mental wellbeing is a priority.

Stress is part of life and certainly part of social work, but when severe and prolonged, this can be damaging in terms of mental and physical health and can lead to retention problems and the loss of good, conscientious and experienced staff.

There was a particular focus on NQSW and student social workers in a time where there is increasing demand and decreasing resources. Here are a few key quotes from the debate. To read the debate transcript in full, access the Communities of Interest via your membership dashboard.

“Students have protected caseloads and are rightly not exposed to the full stress of the role. NQSWs should be similarly protected, though I suspect they aren’t…This is the responsibility of educators (to prepare students for practice), managers (to support their staff) and practitioners (to be self-aware and self-manage stress where possible).

“Individuals need to learn both short term solutions – in the moment responses to stressful situations such as breathing, movement, mindfulness and visualisation, and longer term solutions around thinking styles, emotional management, reframing and reflective supervision.”

“One big question is how effective anyone can be if they are too busy – Munro pointed out that brain surgeons don’t rush operations because their waiting lists grow.”

“I don’t think that we celebrate our successes as a profession, which makes it more difficult when we are criticised. I think that knowing that you are doing a good job can alleviate stress.”

“Managers say they are open to being asked for help and having these conversations and yet still there can be a sense for practitioners that this is a ‘no go’ area and will reflect badly on them as individuals – anyone cracked how to work with this dynamic?”

Several key areas were considered and highlighted as characteristics that help to reduce workplace stress these included:

  • Importance of employer’s standards which need to be comprehensively embedded in a positive organisation culture.
  • Benefits of mindfulness in stress reduction. The need to celebrate where teams have good support and to share what works with others that need improvement.
  • Importance of developing the online communities such as the TCSW Community of Interest group ‘Looking After Yourself’ - essential for promoting help, support and a ‘you are not alone’ stance.
  • Stress control as part of the team meeting agenda.

Lydia Bennett, TCSW Professional Standards Officer and Mike Bush, panel member

Views: 35

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Mental Health in Higher Education Hub to add comments!

Join Mental Health in Higher Education Hub

Blog Posts

Unlearning through Mad Studies: disruptive pedagogical praxis

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 26, 2020 at 19:00 0 Comments

Medical discourse currently dominates as the defining framework for madness in educational praxis. Consequently, ideas rooted in a mental health/illness binary abound in higher learning, as both curriculum content and through institutional procedures that reinforce structures of normalcy. While madness, then, is included in university spaces, this inclusion proceeds in ways that continue to pathologize madness and disenfranchise mad people.

This paper offers Mad…

Continue

Stepchange: mentally healthy universities

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:48 0 Comments

Earlier this year, UUK published a refreshed version of its strategic framework, Stepchange: mentally healthy universities, calling on universities to prioritise the mental health of their students and staff by taking a whole university approach to mental health.

The Stepchange approach and shared set of principles inform the …

Continue

Think Ahead gets funding to boost its intake.

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:41 0 Comments

Fast-track mental health social work provider Think Ahead will expand its intake by 60% from next year following a government funding boost of at least £18m.

The Department of Health and Social Care has agreed a contract with Think Ahead to increase the number of trainees for its 2021 and 2022 cohorts from 100 to 160, with…

Continue

Transforming Mental Health Social Work videos

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:39 0 Comments

Health Education England has commissioned 11 videos centered on real-life experience of specialists in the social work field.

See the video playlist.

Transforming mental health social work - conference report

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:37 0 Comments

In February 2020 Health Education England and Skills for Care put on two major conferences about the role and development of mental health social work. 

Download the conference report.

Leadership in mental health social work - web pages

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:33 0 Comments

A section of the Skills for Care website has been developed for mental health social workers and AMHPs

View the web pages here.

Social work education and training in mental health, addictions and suicide: a scoping review protocol

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:29 0 Comments

Social workers are among the largest group of professionals in the mental health workforce and play a key role in the assessment of mental health, addictions and suicide. Most social workers provide services to individuals with mental health concerns, yet there are gaps in research on social work education and training programmes. The objective of this open access scoping review is to examine literature on social work education and training in mental health, addictions and…

Continue

Mental health nurse education: perceptions, access and the pandemic

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:25 0 Comments

With World Mental Health Day this Saturday, a new Nuffield Trust report discusses how more people might be attracted to apply to study mental health nursing, and the reasons why they might currently be less likely to do so.

Co-author Claudia Leone picks out some  key findings.

Laying foundations: Attitudes and access to mental health nurse education

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:00 0 Comments

Laying foundations: Attitudes and access to mental health nurse education

Mental health nursing is a vital and varied profession, accounting for over a third of the mental health workforce in England. Yet the numbers choosing to study to join the profession are…

Continue

© 2020   Created by Jill Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service