Purpose: This paper presents findings from 440 responses regarding the experiences of supervision, coping and wellbeing of 83 service providers and policymakers from 8 countries working to support children's wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methodology: A smartphone app-based survey hosted on a custom-built app was used. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. The data were gathered in the last quarter of 2020.

Findings: While most respondents described the supervision they received as 'useful' – both personally and professionally – and shared several characteristics of effective supervision practices, concerns about not receiving optimal support were also voiced. Respondents shared a range of stress management and other self-care practices they employed but also revealed their difficulties optimally managing the stresses and anxieties during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, some respondents shared they were feeling helpless, unmotivated and unproductive. Yet, overall, responses were imbued with messages about hope, perseverance and self-compassion.

Originality: Using a bespoke smartphone app, rich and intimate insights were generated in real time from a wide range of professionals across high- and low- and middle-income countries – indicating the need to better support their wellbeing and service delivery.


Accepted Author Manuscript is restricted to only source Repository staff only until 3 June 2022. Please use the "Request a copy" button on their repository to request a copy for non-commercial research or personal use. The manuscript is licensed under: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ .

Cite as

Karadzhov, D., Davidson, J. & Wilson, G. 2021, ''You cannot pour from an empty cup!' : child wellbeing service providers' and policymakers' professional supervision, coping and wellbeing during COVID-19', Journal of Public Mental Health. https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/78832/

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Last updated: 08 February 2024
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