Interview with Mrs. MacDonald

Interpersonal relations have changed dramatically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with it, the mental health of the world at large has altered almost entirely. Especially for a school social worker like Mrs. MacDonald, whose work is in the field of mental health, her job specifically consists of acting as a point of intervention and support for students and staff alike. This means the goal of her work has changed, becoming more focused on outreach to students. While discussing the current situation with her, on the topic of isolation, she remarked that many students are missing out on typical extracurricular activities. This is a major loss to many, on top of the losses plausibly caused by COVID-19. The harsh reality of such loss and isolation from the pandemic has clearly been a major factor in her outreach to students. She remarks, “Everyone has been affected by the isolation that COVID presents. Students and staff alike are living in this new world. So many of us have known people who have been ill. Some of us have lost loved ones to COVID. We are the sum of our life experiences.”


In the face of these challenges, MacDonald remains optimistic and offers plenty of ideas for self-care. At lunch, she can often be spotted going on walks in the neighborhood around school and suggests the same thing for students while they have free time. She says this fresh air allows space to clear her head and take a break from her busy schedule. Other ideas that she says provide the same effect include everything from a Zoom meet-up with friends to listening to good music. She is hopeful about students returning to school four days a week, too. “The students that I have spoken with so far are feeling recharged by being in school. I can see lots of smiles behind those masks. The structure and consistency of coming back into NHS four days a week is a positive step in the direction of returning to a new normal.” 


If you or someone attending Newfield that you know are in need of support, you can find Mrs. MacDonald at the guidance office or e-mail her at  

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