Letter to the Editor | Pandemic provides moment for well-being unity
April 17, 2021
This past year has been tough. It has been unpredictable, heartbreaking, stressful and fearful due to the COVID-19 pandemic that turned everyone’s life upside down. The people that may be able to understand this the most are our frontline health care workers. It is unarguable that they have had one of the toughest years yet.
As a graduate student of social work, I am a huge mental health advocate. I have witnessed firsthand from many friends who are frontline workers how mental health has been affected by this pandemic. People have lost their jobs, lost loved ones and had to put their lives on hold. These things alone can affect someone’s mental health negatively. Now imagine watching patient after patient, day after day, die from the COVID-19 virus.
The next crisis will be the mental health crisis. People will need help processing and healing. But our frontline workers need it the most. They will need to process everything that they have seen and gone through this past year and find healthy ways to cope.
It is important that as a community and a country, we recognize this and take away the stigma surrounding mental health. I hope that in my community, I see more awareness surrounding mental health and more community resources. I hope that all communities reach out, specifically to the frontline workers, telling them that it is okay to seek help for the mental stress and burnout they are experiencing. I hope that in a time where we have been separated, we can come together and support those struggling with their mental health. After all they have done for us, we need to make sure they are taken care of as well.
Rachel is a graduate student in Social Work.