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COVID-19 Resources Available Through AOSW

October 20, 2021


By Amy Colver, LCSW
AOSW Connections Editor

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that has remained constant in my life is gratitude for the AOSW community. Being a part of this organization has brought connection to other oncology social workers, knowledge and opportunity into my life. AOSW offers many benefits to its individual members as well as the oncology community as a whole. One benefit is the COVID-19 Resource page on the AOSW website. In visiting this page, you will find a variety of AOSW webinars on clinical practice, advance care planning, financial and insurance changes, ethics, self-care and grief. You will also find several websites, articles and workshops that not only provide guidance for supporting patients and families, but also validate the emotional aspects of the pandemic and strengthen coping strategies.

In addition, there are guided mediations that were created by Kerry Irish LCSW, OSW-C, FAOSW. Meditation can decrease stress, depression and anxiety. Meditation also improves concentration, mood, memory, sleep and energy. One of the greatest benefits of meditation is the promotion of feelings of compassion toward ourselves and others. This is the concept of Kerry’s meditation titled “Loving Kindness for Oncology Social Workers.” In this meditation, Kerry eloquently describes the pandemic as a time of learning to live without the illusion of control. This is something that our patients experience every day. It is also being experienced globally during the pandemic. Kerry gives the opportunity to process the unsettling nature of the future being unknown. She also gives several opportunities to engage in loving kindness as a coping strategy.

Loving kindness is defined as feelings of tenderness and consideration towards ourselves and others. It is the basis for compassion and shared joy. It is also described as the most fulfilling emotional state that we can know. Kerry’s meditation exercise takes to places where we have already witnessed loving kindness in our lives. She also encourages us to think of ourselves, and our family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and patients. She takes us through the process of bringing all of these people to mind one by one; setting intention for their well-being and sending them loving kindness through the following statements:

  • May you be happy, healthy, and whole,
  • May you have love, warmth and affection,
  • May you be protected from harm and free from fear,
  • May you abide in peace and loving kindness.
Thank you for your words and encouragement, Kerry.  Thank you to all of the people and organizations that have contributed resources to us during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To all of the AOSW members and leaders, thank you for the work that you do every day. Thank you for lifting each other up and continuing to do so. Thank you for supporting your patients and their support systems during this unknown time in all of our lives.

My hope is that you continue to benefit from all that AOSW offers as an organization. I also hope that you find time to practice loving kindness in your own life.

About the Author

Amy Colver, LCSW

Editor
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers
Denver, Colorado
[email protected]

Amy Colver is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who lives in Denver, Colorado. Her career is a testament to her passion of providing psychosocial care to patients and their support systems facing cancer.

Amy is the Manager of...
Read Full Author Bio

Amy Colver, LCSW

Editor
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers
Denver, Colorado
[email protected]

Amy Colver is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who lives in Denver, Colorado. Her career is a testament to her passion of providing psychosocial care to patients and their support systems facing cancer.

Amy is the Manager of Social Work and Supportive Care Services at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Denver, Colorado. She received her Master of Science in Social ‎Administration (MSSA) and her Master of Arts in Bioethics (MA) from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). ‎Amy has several years of clinical experience in the field of oncology social work. She has specialized in lung ‎cancer, blood cancers, and bone marrow transplant. She has worked primarily in outpatient cancer centers in both Cleveland, Ohio and Denver, Colorado.

In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Amy is a member of the Association of Oncology Social ‎Workers (AOSW), serving on the Communications Committee. She has been the editor of the AOSW Newsletter since the summer of 2021. She has volunteered with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The Cleveland ‎Hope Lodge, The Gathering Place, and The Jack, Joseph, and ‎Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at CWRU. She has served on various committees ‎within her places of employment and has been involved in psychosocial research. 

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time exploring the beautiful state of Colorado with her husband ‎and dog. She also enjoys biking, hiking, reading, and journaling. ‎
 

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