Connecting to culturally significant anchors as a means of maintaining wellness for community workers and social workers

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McEvoy, Allan
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2020-11-04
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
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New Zealand
Aotearoa
social workers
well being
mental health
workplace stress
occupational stress
resilience
indigenous approaches
community workers
Citation
McEvoy, A. J. (2020, November). Connecting to culturally significant anchors as a means of maintaining wellness for Community Workers and Social Workers. Paper presented at the 2nd Sydney - International Conference on Social Science & Humanities (ICSSH), 03-04 November 2020 - organised by the Social Science and Humanities Research Association (SSHRA) Sydney (Zoom).
Abstract
This presentation explores the importance and value of connecting to our own cultural anchors when working in highly demanding social work and community support roles, as a means of anchoring ourselves mentally, spiritually and physically, and ensuring wellness is preserved in the social practitioner. Based on my Master’s thesis research on the topic of ‘psychological first aid’ and ongoing psychological support for social workers, the presentation also examines the impact of poor cultural connection and its effect on relationships in both professional and private spaces, and on general wellbeing and professional growth. Drawing on interviews with participants in my Master’s research, and observations and lessons learned from supervising social workers from across a variety of operational theatres, I will provide evidence that social workers’ connection to, and regular engagement with, their own cultural genealogy and worldview is a key factor for effective maintenance of personal wellbeing, professional performance, and ability to engage in ongoing growth and development.
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