Over the past several months, we’ve seen numerous reports on the emotional and physical strain the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our medical providers. Less visible, the nation’s social workers have been on the frontlines since day one as we’ve dealt with the economic, psychological, medical, and social fallout of the crisis.
As social workers, our tools are invisible, we don’t wear uniforms, and much of our work is done behind closed doors or, lately, on telehealth platforms. As a country, we should not let that diminish the value of what social workers are doing, and we need to acknowledge the impact these trying times are having on those who work in the profession.
As a social worker, if you have a client sitting across from you, they have an unmet need — food, housing, safety. Within that need, there are profound emotions, like fear or loss or grief, and, in most cases, the client has experienced some form of suffering and trauma around that need.