A new Strategically Virtual blog post by Amanda Bombino and Liana Volpe of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development offers information on an array of wellness services that service providers can consider, either by offering these services or by referring customers to engage with these services privately. Strategically engaging with these services could offer a much-needed dimension of support to customers in search of holistic help. Readers should note that the Heldrich Center is not endorsing any of these proprietary products.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has presented unprecedented and extraordinary challenges throughout this past year and has had a particularly harsh impact on mental health and well-being. These emotional and well-being challenges are felt by all, but are exacerbated for those who have lost their jobs and have been searching for their next employment opportunity for some time. Poor mental and emotional health can make job search more difficult and addressing emotional well-being is critical to conducting an effective job search.
As workforce agencies and community organizations continue to provide support to job seekers, they should consider ways to include access to mental health and well-being services as a key part of their service delivery. Community-based organizations such as public libraries have stepped up to offer wellness services to patrons throughout the pandemic. This new and/or expanded programming often includes wellness-centered events, mental health supports, physical health programming, and dedicated space for individuals to meet virtually and experience connection and belonging. Similar wellness programming can also be observed in faith-based organizations, community groups, nonprofit organizations, and more.
While community-based institutions have gone above and beyond to adapt and amplify their wellness services, additional well-being supports can be offered via virtual platforms and services. Utilizing these dedicated resources could strategically expand the reach for wellness services and lessen the burden placed on individual institutions or frontline staff to develop and implement programming.
In the Suddenly Virtual series, the Heldrich Center examined how the public workforce system had adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing case management, training, and job search services in an online environment. The Strategically Virtual series builds on this work, outlining how the public workforce system can use technology and community partnerships more effectively to expand services, address job seeker mental and emotional well-being, and ensure that a broader range of the public is able to access supports during a time of social distancing and massive job loss. The Strategically Virtual series is producing issue briefs, Medium blog posts, practical guides, and more. View all of the Strategically Virtual blog posts.