WE-CARE Student Wellness Initiative
Graduate education can be a time filled with excitement, a potentially transformative experience resulting in deep personal and professional growth. Graduate education can also be stressful. Social work and nursing students not only engage in a rigorous curriculum but must simultaneously learn to hold the pain and suffering of others while reflecting on their own life experiences, thoughts, and feelings.
Our wellness initiative – which we call WE-CARE – is committed to nurturing an environment that recognizes potential psycho-social stressors, takes active steps toward mitigating their impact, and creates a sense of belonging. Equally as important is each person’s commitment to actively engage in their own wellness planning from the very beginning of their professional journey.
The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work WE-CARE Initiative aims to:
- Assist students with managing the stressors of graduate education by providing connections to resources, services, and programming.
- Help students build skills that will contribute to an overall sense of health and well-being and counter common conditions such as compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, shared trauma, and burnout.
- Promote, as needed, systemic changes to policies, procedures, and curriculum in the service of health and wellness
It is important that each person actively engages in their own wellness plan by developing the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to integrate self-care/WE-CARE into daily practice. Developing healthy habits and supporting one another in the process is the foundation of WE-CARE. Explore the resources below to help build your daily practice.
WE-CARE as an Ethical and Professional Responsibility
Learning to engage in an intentional self-care practice is an ethical responsibility for helping professionals. The NASW Code of Ethics, the Council for Social Work Education, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing all identify that participating in self-reflection and activities which foster resilience and well-being are critical to the profession and necessary for competent and ethical practice.
We in the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work community care and want to see you thrive. We have dedicated our lives to the helping professions and aim to accompany you on your professional journey, whatever form that may take, and hope that the resources in these pages can help sustain you in finding fulfillment and resilience within it.