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In response to students experiencing trauma from the COVID-19 crisis, Adelphi University's School of Social Work has launched the Adelphi Mutual Aid Group Project, providing students with opportunities to share their experiences during a time of pandemic social distancing.

In response to students experiencing trauma from the COVID-19 crisis, Adelphi University’s School of Social Work has launched the Adelphi Mutual Aid Group Project, providing students with opportunities to share their experiences during a time of pandemic social distancing. The groups, facilitated by Adelphi’s Master of Social Work students and graduates, are designed to build a supportive online network and a safe space for students to share experiences, strategies and concerns.

Carol S. Cohen

The project was created by Carol Cohen, DSW, professor of social work in the School. She has served as a first responder, helping people through a variety of disasters, including the September 11 terrorist attacks, and now adds working with those displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic to that list. Dr. Cohen was inspired by hearing about students who were unable to return home, including many international students and others who were forced to “stay at home” alone.

“From the moment I heard the term ‘social distancing’ used in relation to the COVID-19 response, I knew that we critically needed ‘social connection’ at the same time,” said Dr. Cohen. She hoped to spark an initiative that would stretch across departments and build connections between international students, commuters and displaced campus residents.

“Here was an idea that could be developed in an online environment, engage a wide range of constituencies, draw on multiple areas of expertise and experience, and potentially make a significant difference,” said Dr. Cohen.

The five original Master of Social Work facilitators—Anand Bhopale, Rosa Carino, MSW ’20, Maureen Dominguez, MSW ’20, Jennifer Karasik, and Gavin Walters, MSW ’20—played a critical role in planning the initiative and recruiting students, including filming a promotional video.

Regular supervision and consultation is coordinated through a partnership of the School of Social Work, Student Counseling Center, Division of Student Affairs, Adelphi International, and the Substance Use Counseling and Prevention Program.

Now that they have become established, the Adelphi Mutual Aid Group Project will continue into the coming school year and it welcomes hearing from students and potential partners.

Students interested in participating in the Adelphi Mutual Aid Group should fill out this form.

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