The Mindfulness-Based Social Work and Self-Care Programme: A mixed methods evaluation study

Alan Maddock*, Pearse Mccusker, Carolyn Blair, Audrey Roulston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During their social work education, students engage in a number of stressful learning activities, often simultaneously, which can negatively impact their well-being, mental health and social work practice. Mindfulness practices are beginning to be integrated into social work curricula globally to enhance student self-care along with key social work practice skills and values. This mixed methods study examined the effects of a bespoke six-week online mindfulness-based social work and self-care (MBSWSC) programme on the stress, burnout, well-being, anxiety and depression levels of thirty social work students from two universities in the UK. This study also examined the effects of MBSWSC on a number of mindfulness-based mediators of change in these outcomes. Participant perceptions of the benefits of the MBSWSC programme on their well-being and social work practice are further explored via a thematic analysis of an open-ended questionnaire. Statistically significant changes in all variables were found post-programme except for depression and loss of empathy/depersonalisation, a facet of burnout. The qualitative data provided a deeper insight into the potential benefits of the programme for the enhancement of student well-being, mental health and anti-oppressive social work practice (AOP).
Original languageEnglish
Article numberbcab203
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Early online date21 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • mindfulness
  • self-care
  • social work practice
  • stress
  • student mental health
  • well-being

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