Refugee service providers are used to putting clients first, working long hours, and moving mountains to meet clients’ needs, no matter how difficult. This work is unique: we are entrusted with helping people who have experienced significant hardship and trauma as they rebuild their lives in a new country. Because our work is unique, our organizations have a unique role in supporting us.
As the coronavirus pandemic redefines “normal,” many people are experiencing more symptoms of emotional distress. For most of us, seeing some of these signs some of the time isn’t too concerning. It’s when we begin to feel this way most of the time that it can become alarming. Learning to recognize signs of emotional distress in ourselves or our loved ones is one step towards beginning to cope.
People in helping professions are being challenged in numerous personal and professional ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. Service providers are supporting clients who may be in crisis due to employment, childcare or healthcare needs. At the same time, we ourselves may be in crisis for similar reasons. The challenge of caring for and being concerned about family and friends, as well as clients, is leading to extreme stress in many helping professionals.