Social workers organization offers free online mental health resources

With Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration careful to emphasize mental health needs during the coronavirus outbreak that has brought New Jersey to a halt and potentially confined millions to their homes, the state’s social workers are doing their part to help.

The National Association of Social Workers – New Jersey Chapter announced Monday that it is providing free online resources for both its members and the community at large.

“Social workers provide over three-fourths of the mental health services in our community,” Jennifer Thompson, executive director of NASW-NJ, said in a prepared statement. “Social distancing does not mean social isolation, and, as a community of social workers, we are committed to providing resources, tools and support to our neighbors, friends, colleagues and communities during this crisis.”

To view the webpage of resources, click here.

“We are uniquely poised to support our community, virtually,” Thompson said. “Technology in our field has been a focus for several years, and now we are able to respond to the need quickly, efficiently and really help others through this time, in the way only social workers can.”

NASW-NJ represents more than 23,000 licensed social workers in New Jersey and has more than 7,000 members statewide.

“The impetus of the community resources is to give everyone who has been thrust into this new reality a safe space to land, to ask questions,” Thompson said. “I received questions this week as I embarked on now managing an organization remotely and homeschooling my child, while also having a spouse work from home. I am not alone. For many people, work, going out is their only interaction — that’s their circle. They need support and resources, too.”

The Murphy administration also has established a hotline, 866-202-HELP, that is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

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