The feasibility of mindfulness training to reduce stress among social workers
The health and well-being of social workers are attracting attention from researchers, organisations and the profession itself. Since the 1990s, there has been research examining the health and well-being of social workers in relation to working conditions and occupational stress. However, there is a dearth of literature indicating the evaluation and application of effective strategies for work-related stress reduction, particularly within the social work profession. Identifying effective and feasible interventions to reduce occupational stress is prudent to improving not only service delivery, but simultaneously also the wellness of practitioners. Healthy social workers are likely to be more effective and productive. Mindfulness intervention studies across a multitude of groups have yielded positive effects, including the alleviation of mental health difficulties for numerous populations. However, the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions with social workers is yet to be determined. A scoping review was conducted to assess the availability and scientific rigour of mindfulness-based interventions, and their applicability to social workers. This conceptual paper considers the evidence and the feasibility of applying mindfulness training to address the stress, coping efforts and subsequent health outcomes of social workers, through the theoretical lens of the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping.
Beer, O. W. J., Phillips, R., Stepney, L., & Quinn, C. R. (2020). The feasibility of mindfulness training to reduce stress among social workers: A conceptual paper. The British Journal of Social Work, 50(1), 243-263. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcz104
Researchers Oliver Beer and Professor Sheena Asthana of Plymouth University, UK, decided to investigate. They surveyed 427 social workers in England, UK, and here is a brief look at what they discovered.