Radical Self-care for Social Workers in the Global Climate Crisis



Engstrom S & Powers M (2020) Radical Self-care for Social Workers in the Global Climate Crisis. Social Work, 65 (1), pp. 29-37.

Social work entities around the world are increasingly highlighting professional responsibilities for addressing the global climate crisis. Gradual environmental degradation, more extreme climate change events, and related environmental injustices affect individuals and communities every day. Often, social workers experience vicarious trauma from work with those immediately impacted. Working within the context of the global climate crisis brings further risk. Social workers may be personally impacted, and/or experiencing our own challenges, such as climate anxiety and eco-grief. Thus, radical self-care is a dire need as social workers promote sustainable communities and environments and seek ecological justice for all. This paper discusses the health and mental health impacts of the compounding factors of the climate crisis, modern technology, and current political contexts. Activism for change and eco-therapeutic strategies are presented as radical self-care for social workers, in both academic and practice-based settings. These strategies are essential for recognizing, legitimizing, and addressing the need for radical self-care practices in the global climate crisis.

radical self-care; climate crisis; environmental justice; ecotherapy

Social Work: Volume 65, Issue 1

Publication date31/01/2020
Publication date online11/12/2019
Date accepted by journal30/07/2019

People (1)


Dr Sandra Engstrom

Dr Sandra Engstrom

Lecturer, Social Work