Dear Everyone, We are all horrified, saddened and angry about the racial injustices going on in our country right now. Our hearts go out to the families of George Floyd and the many, many other victims of police brutality and other racial injustices over the recent years, decades and centuries. These concerns and worries are even more important than Covid-19 and this is evident by the many protests across our country and the world, despite the risk of the virus. The issues of racial injustices, specifically towards Blacks, but also other people of color, affect everyone from all walks of life and background and many aspects of our lives including economic issues, physical and mental health issues, environmental and political issues, to name a few.As clinical social workers, mental health professionals, and wellness healers, we are deeply concerned and committed to self-reflection and making changes within ourselves while also doing more for others.
The primary mission of the social work profession is to “enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession's focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living. Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients.” (NASW)
With this as our mission, we work hard every day with and for our clients. The additional sadness, fear and anger about the racial issues in our society are adding to the on-going stress and mental health concerns around Covid-19 and daily living. We are already seeing the overwhelm in our clients, our families and communities.
Making personal changes is a start and opening up discussions within families and communities is vital. We are working on understanding white privilege and know that those who are white can not possibly truly understand what it’s like for blacks and minorities.
And yet, there is some hope for change. We know that humans are resilient, strong, and are always moving towards transformation. Whether moving towards change through peaceful protests, working with organizations that promote justice and positive change and/or doing one’s own, individual, self-reflections, we will make progress. It’s vital and crucial at this moment in history.
We, at Lotus Point Wellness, are committed to working with all individuals, couples and families who are suffering and in need of help. We are all committed to doing our own work around internalized racism and also continuing to seek out diversity in our own hiring practices, as our team grows and expands. Ultimately, our mission has always been and will always be to support all people of all backgrounds, ideologies, diversity, sexual orientation, gender identity and age. We believe that people can and do change and by starting within ourselves and working outward, we will affect change in our society, as a whole.
We are here for you and with you as we all work towards understanding, compassion and systemic change and ultimately, a fair and just world.
Remember this important quote from Mahatma Gandhi: Be the change you wish to see in the world.
And this quote from Martin Luther King: Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.
With sadness and hope in my heart,
Marie Marie Caterini Choppin, LCSW-C
Founder and Director of Lotus Point Wellness, Inc.
The Cut wrote a piece about different opportunities to join the fight. They share several ways to help like educating yourself and others, giving your time to go out and join a clean up, reaching out to your local politicians, protesting and offering resources to protestors in your community, and making donations to important organizations.
Resources for Accountability and Actions for Black Lives created a group document to share how you can support the families of Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many other Black Americans who have been murdered.
Katie Couric shared a list of Anti-Racism Resources on Medium for adults and for children, including books, articles, podcasts and videos to watch.
If you haven't already, make sure you read The 1619 Project from The New York Times Magazine. The award-winning, ongoing initiative began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.
Niche.com shared mental health resources for people who are struggling to cope with racism against them and further resources to help others become more informed.
Paper Magazine put together a list of different funds and organizations where you can donate to support the protesters and activists speaking out in cities across the nation.
You can also visit NAMI.org to see the mental health resources, help lines and programs they have available for everyone.