I see you. I hear you. I feel you. I understand you. I am one of you.
No – we are not frontline workers. We are not the ones turning off the monitors and calling time of death. We are not the ones FaceTiming loved ones to say their final goodbyes. We are not the ones putting in yet another ventilator. And no – we are not the ones who come face to face with COVID stricken patients every single day. To all the frontline workers – you are true heroes – thank you. We could not be us without you.
BUT we are not you…
We are the ones picking up all the broken pieces. We are the ones meeting with a daughter who just lost her elderly mother. We are the ones talking to a little boy who did not get to say goodbye to his Grandpa. We are the ones talking to a teen who is still isolated from her friends after many months of not going to school. We are the ones supporting an exhausted teacher who is struggling to juggle it all while figuring out her new normal. We are the ones talking to the frontline workers who have not slept in months or spent adequate time with their own families. We are the ones listening to a newly widowed woman overcome by grief because she just watched her spouse of fifty years die over a FaceTime call. We are the ones listening to a recently unemployed man who just lost his job of twenty years and can no longer support his family.
We are the quiet ones.
We are also the ones listening to a young adult attempting to process the grief of losing his brother who was shot by a police officer. While also listening to a police officer who is trying so hard to figure out how he can make a change in his community while questioning his lifelong career choice and passion. We are the ones talking to a ten year old attempting to understand why his parents are no longer speaking because of political differences. And a few hours later, we are the ones spending an entire hour comforting an eight year old while she cries because she cannot spent the holidays with her grandparents.
We are the quiet ones – the mental health professionals.
Our quiet work is often overlooked. We rarely receive praise or recognition for our work. We definitely do not need any praise or recognition but our society definitely still needs us. So to all the mental health professionals – the quiet ones – I see you. I hear you. I feel you. I understand you. I am one of you. Please take care of yourselves. We need each other and society needs us. 🖤
Alyssa Buchanan is a licensed clinical social worker and is the owner of Skylight Counseling Services. Alyssa has over thirteen years of experience helping children and adults find their inner strengths to overcome life’s burdens and challenges. Alyssa opened Skylight Counseling Services located in Florida and Indiana where she invests her time in facilitating an environment where clients and families feel heard, empowered and comfortable working with their clinician toward overall healing and growth.