The pandemic and the forensic linguistics caseworker’s wellbeing
effects and recommendations
Keywords:COVID, pandemic, lockdown, forensic linguist, caseworker, mental wellbeing
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have implemented different measures to control the spread of the disease. Policies like lockdowns can negatively impact citizens’ wellbeing (e.g. Rossi et al. 2020), including professionals working with sensitive data and in legal settings (e.g. Barros et al. 2020). For the first time, this article addresses how this general crisis may have affected forensic linguistics caseworkers’ practices and wellbeing. In November 2020, a fixed-response questionnaire was circulated among the forensic linguistics online community. Results show that the most consequential changes in the caseworkers’ professional practices brought about by the pandemic have to do with their working environment and schedule. Following the discussion of the results, some recommendations regarding caseworkers’ self-care are outlined and discussed. Given the constant changes in policies and the evolution of the pandemic, further surveys and a general discussion concerning practitioners’ wellbeing would benefit this professional community.
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