By Veronica Golden
As an African-American woman who is a NYS Licensed Social Worker it is no coincidence to me that Mother’s Day and Mental Health Awareness Day fall in the same month: May. Both mothers and mental health awareness give birth. One gives birth to babies who give the world its population. The other gives birth to healing which can transform generations.
Both mothers and mental health awareness are often underestimated. Mothers lack physical strength (generally speaking) over men but compensate in their magnitude to nurture. Professionals specializing in mental health are white-collar workers who generally are under-compensated despite their impact being essential to society functioning.
Everyone has had a difficult time the last couple of years because of the pandemic. However, mothers and professionals specializing in mental health have had it the worst. Childcare and women’s health were issues before the pandemic. However, during the pandemic, tough choices for single mothers had to be made like “Do I continue to work?” or “Do I quit my job to stay home and watch my child because schools are closed?”
Also, the joy of the birthing experience was scaled back due to limited support being able to be in the delivery room and visit the new baby & mother. Professionals specializing in mental health had to comfort and help people cope while navigating unchartered times in our nation’s history. There was a significant increase in depression and anxiety because of the isolation and uncertainty surrounding coronavirus.
In summary, both mothers and mental health are very important to the stabilization of society. Show extra love & appreciation to your mom and your mind this month! Flowers, chocolates, and spa time are generously accepted.