Social Work Warrior Student Wellness

The past year has challenged all of us. From a global pandemic to devastating events highlighting racial inequity and a very contentious election – we've all had a lot on our plates. At times it has been difficult to concentrate and to figure out this 'new' normal, but we are here to help. Our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series highlights student experience accounts acknowledging the physical, social and emotional toll of the last year, while at the same time recognizing the resilience displayed by our social work student community. Throughout the series, we encourage students to identify their stressors and new challenges, acknowledge grief and loss, be open to new ways to cope, be actively present, keep moving forward and remember the first step to helping others is helping yourself.

 

Stressors

In a recent survey, nearly half of Wayne State Social Work students reported managing work/life, keeping up with assignments, and transitioning to online school/work as their top stressors. In the first installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we explore the power of acknowledging our stressors and recognizing that S.T.R.E.S.S. can result when Someone Tries to Repair Every Situation Solo.

What has caused you stress? 

 

 

New challenges

We have each experienced new hurdles from the last year differently. For some, the unexpected need for childcare arose. For others, the challenge of mounting isolation from pandemic restrictions took hold. In the second installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we look at the unique ways we each experience new challenges and needs. 

How have you been affected by events of the last year?

 

Coping 

The challenges of the past year have resulted in many of us looking for new ways to cope. Students have connected virtually with friends and family, tried out yoga/mindfulness activities, established accountability partners, obtained tutoring help, joined student organizations, listened to podcasts, read something positive daily, gotten organized and found fulfillment in reaching out and helping others.  In the third installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we examine the various ways fellow students have learned to cope. 

Are you open to trying something new?

 

Grief & loss 

The past year has challenged all of us and we have all experienced some degree of grief and loss. From losing loved ones, jobs, and homes, to the experience of being part of a community with fellow students on campus, and more. In the fourth installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we delve into the ways in which students have experienced grief and loss, including hiding it, masking it and carrying on, along with the importance of establishing a support person/team to walk a path of healing and remind us to share our wins as well - no matter how small. 

Did you let others witness your grief? Did you share your wins?

 

Be actively present 

The past year has challenged all of us and can make the future hard to conceive. In the fifth installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we take a look at what it means to be actively present in daily tasks such as assignments and family obligations. We also recognize that it's okay to live with the uncertainty of "I don't know" – know that your future is waiting for you when you're ready.

How can you be actively present?

 

Keep moving forward 

The past year has challenged all of us. It has created new struggles and forced many of us to recognize our own personal difficulties in asking for help, confronting our shame and feelings of failure, surrendering control and acknowledging our need. In the final installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we acknowledge that everyone struggles including social workers, and as you launch the next year, know there is a way to move forward. The first step to helping others is to help yourself.

Will you ask for help when you need it?

Resources

Warriors have your back

  • If you need confidential support, you can make a request online for telehealth counseling through CAPS. You won't have to leave your home to talk to someone, it is free for enrolled students and offers one-on-one, groups, workshops, and so much more. The School of Social Work has also partnered with CAPS to offer virtual private counseling sessions on Tuesday's and Thursday's from 4 – 5 pm – learn more via Get Involved.
  • The W Food Pantry supports students with food and toiletries to those currently enrolled in classes.
  • The HIGH (Helping Individuals Go Higher) Program helps financially stressed students reach their goal to graduate with housing support, textbooks and other school supplies, clothing, transportation, and child-care assistance.
  • Feeling under the weather? For student health care services to prevent and treat common physical illness visit Wayne State's Campus Health Center.
  • Are you looking for energy, financial, food, health, housing, internet and cell phone service, mental health counseling, transportation, unemployment, and water resources in the Detroit area? Check out our Detroit area community resource lists for Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.
  • Are you looking for a job or need help determining your career path? Visit our career resources page that includes our online job board.

Stay connected

  • There are a variety of student organizations where you can connect with fellow students and explore a passion.
  • Consider participating in Social Work Peer Support (SWPS), a peer-to-peer student-led learning community aimed at supporting Social Work Warriors through their academic and field education journeys. SWPS hosts individual discussions and group activities including virtual Sunday Funday's.

Academic support

  • Your advisor can be an invaluable source of motivation and support. If you haven't been seeing your advisor at least once per semester, make an appointment today at advisingworks.wayne.edu.
  • Are you looking for writing or research support? Learn more about our specialized writing and research coaches offering free support to Social Work students.
  • You are always welcome to visit faculty during office hours or email them to inquire about assistance with course deadlines.

Financial aid and scholarships

  • School is expensive and there are a variety of resources both in and out of WSU to help: start at the WSU Office of Student Financial Aid to see what options are available to you, check out WSU private scholarships which open March 1st each year, use the Michigan scholarship search tool for those who reside in the mitten state, ask your supervisor if your employer offers tuition assistance and lastly chat with your advisor – attending part-time may be a more affordable option and WSU offers an Installment Payment Plan.
  • Are you nearing graduation? Look into the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which can provide loan repayment relief to those at qualifying 501(c)3 non-profit employers.