The election is over. I'm sure that most of us are glad about that, regardless of how we feel about the outcome. I'm sure that many of us are trying to process what this campaign stirred up for us, and wondering if and how this nation can heal.
As a social worker, I love that I have a professional Code of Ethics to guide me. This Code of Ethics includes core values that guide me in my work and in my personal life. Social work's core values include service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, the importance of relationships, integrity, and competence.
What might social work have to say about all of these current events?
The National Association of Social Workers just put out a statement on the election of Mr. Trump. I post it here.
My final thought is a quote that I often remember, "We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness." by Thich Nhat Hanh
NASW Statement on Donald J. Trump Election as 45th U.S. President
Association urges President-Elect to help heal divisiveness, trauma from his campaign
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) congratulates Donald J. Trump on his election to become the 45th president of the United States.
The Association is deeply concerned by statements Mr. Trump has made regarding women, people of color and immigrants. At the same time, we acknowledge we must work with the new administration to address pressing issues of the day, including justice reforms, racial and gender inequality, access to health care for all, and helping more Americans achieve economic self-sufficiency and stability.
The NASW Code of Ethics makes clear the importance of social justice. We cannot support any efforts to marginalize or oppress any group of people, and will always work to assure that human rights extend to everyone. Social workers continue to strongly advocate for our country’s most vulnerable populations.
President-Elect Trump has said he is committed to restoring economic prosperity to the United States, helping more Americans afford care for their children and relatives who are older adults, and providing more services to our nation’s brave veterans and their families. We hope to build on these commonalities to move our country forward and will hold Mr. Trump accountable for his promises.
We also urge Mr. Trump and his administration to help heal the divisiveness and trauma his campaign has caused among some communities and populations. NASW, the largest professional social work association in the world with more than 125,000 members, is ready to help ensure these actions are done in a socially responsible and unifying manner.
NASW firmly supports our nation’s efforts to move forward in a positive way that acknowledges the inherent dignity and worth of all people. Specifically, NASW will work to ensure that President-Elect Trump appoints justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and judges to the Circuit Courts of Appeals and lower Federal District Courts who come from diverse gender and ethnic backgrounds and will protect the rights of all citizens.
Lastly, NASW congratulates Democrat nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton for her years of service. Mrs. Clinton has a long history of working for positive social change in areas of importance to social workers, including health care reform; the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; reproductive rights for women; racial justice and equal rights for people who are LGBT.
We share Mrs. Clinton’s hope for the future. Everyone deserves the chance to pursue and achieve their dreams.
As Mrs. Clinton said in her concession speech, “let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear; making our economy work for everyone not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet and breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.”
Short post today, because I am working on a challenge! Have you heard of the 40 bags in 40 days challenge? Getting rid of excess junk physically helps you to feel better mentally. I'm in! Who is going to join me?!
Wow, 2015 already! Did you set any New Year's Resolutions? I don't really believe in those types of resolutions, because for me, they just haven't ever worked. If they work for you--that is fantastic, and keep on going on! If you have struggled with them, like me, perhaps it is because if we aren't ready to make a change that we need to make all year, why would we be ready just because the calendar has moved to January 1st? Making changes are hard. It is possible to make changes though, provided that we're are ready to make the changes and that we have the information and support needed to make the changes.
Maybe you want to stop smoking. You might think you are ready, but do you have the support needed, if you have other smokers in the house? Support could come in the form of family members, doctors, co-workers, etc.
Or, maybe you are ready to lose some weight. Again, it might work on your own; for some people it does. But, most likely, you are going to need the support of those around you in order for it to be successful.
The same goes for challenges with mental health. If we all could just have the mental health we desire all by ourselves, 1 in 5 people would not be struggling with a diagnosable mental illness. We need to be ready for change, yes. But we also need information, and we need support.
Getting assistance for mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. It means you are strong because you are taking care of yourself. So, talk with a loved one, a doctor, or a therapist. Seek out support groups if those would be helpful. Join a gym and workout with others. Think back to what in the past has improved your mental health, and try to incorporate some of these things back into your life now. You are worth it!
Wishing all of you strength, courage, and peace in the year to come. Happy New Year!
Those of you who know me know that I love, love, love self-care. What is self-care? It is taking care of YOU first, so that you can then work towards your goals and other priorities. If you aren't taking care of you first, you aren't going to be able to be the best you can be, whether that is a parent, a partner, an employee, a friend, or balancing all of the above. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started. What else do you add to this list?
As many of you know, I have not accepted new clients for the past several months. I had my second child in May. I did things differently my second time around, and what a difference it has made! With my first child, I experienced postpartum depression. This time, I was able to prepare myself throughout the pregnancy and make some different decisions to promote my mental health. And this time around, things are going great!
I have been reminded throughout this process that we all do the best we can. With each new experience, we gain more information and wisdom. And with that additional information, we are able to make better decisions. Know that whatever path you are on right now, you are doing the best you can. If you would like some additional support along your journey, feel free to contact me. I am now accepting new clients!
Amber is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She offers counseling for individual adults and clinical supervision for social workers. For fun, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, researching genealogy, reading, and dragon boating.
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