WASHINGTON, D.C. –
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has announced it is a partner of National COVID-19 Day
on March 11, an opportunity to process grief and find hope through an online platform and volunteer opportunities.
“NASW is proud to partner in this event and continue to offer our resources and the resources of social workers around the nation to assist people affected by a pandemic that has touched every corner of our lives,” NASW President Mildred “Mit” Joyner, DPS, MSW, LCSW, said. “From the beginning social workers have been essential workers on the frontlines, helping people get the best possible health care, offering mental health services to those suffering from depression, and getting resources to help families who have struggled economically during the pandemic.”
Over the past year the Humanitarian Disaster Institute
at Wheaton College and volunteer management nonprofit VOMO
have been at the forefront of equipping community organizations for COVID-19 response. They are collaborating on National COVID-19 Day with NASW, The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, World Vision, Hospice Foundation of America, and other partners by launching National COVID-19 Day.
National COVID-19 Day will take place on March 11, which is the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a pandemic. The purpose of National COVID-19 Day is to help the United States navigate our collective grief, encourage one another, and embrace hope for what is ahead.
National COVID-19 Day was co-founded by Jamie Aten and Kent Annan at Wheaton College’s Humanitarian Disaster Institute. On November 24th, 2020, the Humanitarian Disaster Institute received a proclamation from National Day Archives officially designating and certifying that March 11 of each calendar year is officially designated as National COVID-19 Day.
“With the United States recently surpassing 500,000 COVID-19 related deaths, our country needs ways to come together virtually and safely to remind us that we are not alone and that we will eventually overcome this pandemic,” said Humanitarian Disaster Institute co-director Dr. Jamie Aten, who is also helping organize National COVID-19 Day. “Having studied and helped amidst major disasters and public health crises all over the globe we've seen how important public events are to helping neighborhoods to nations move from grief to hope,” added Aten.
National COVID-19 Day and strategic partners will help meet this need by creating an online platform for people from all walks of life to observe shared grief, come together virtually, or volunteer with proper safety protocols to recognize others in our communities and country making a difference and provide support from caring listeners.
NASW is offering resources from its Help Starts Here
website, which features advice from social work experts to help people cope with the mental health impact of the pandemic and grief. Help Starts Here also has a Find a Social Worker
tool that enables users to find social workers in their communities to assist them.
“Help Starts Here already connects Americans each day to the invaluable services that our nation’s more than 750,000 social workers provide,” NASW President McClain, PhD, LICSW, said. “We are grateful Help Starts Here and our Find a Social Worker tool are being highlighted as resources on National COVID-19 Day and that these services will help even more people as this nation recovers from the pandemic.”