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These days we hear a lot about the selflessness of nurses, doctors and health care aides on the front line of the COVID crisis.  They are, in a very clear and real sense, risking their own health to provide much needed care to those suffering with this challenging illness.  In fact, all types of workers are at risk and providing helpful, necessary services.

NAMI Ohio and our affiliates wanted to take this time to thank another sector of the health care community that does not often receive recognition – those individuals working as social workers, counselors, therapists, case managers, peer supporters and psychiatrists.  Just like other workers, the ways they provide care has been upended by COVID.  This did not stop them from continuing to deliver counseling and support in a variety of ways – both traditional in-person care and through telehealth.  They checked in with individuals and families and made sure that crisis services were available when someone was in a mental health emergency.  They reached out to make sure that necessary prescriptions were filled so that treatment was not interrupted for those whose medications are an important piece of their recovery.

Agencies providing residential care and inpatient hospitalization continued to do so while implementing new procedures to assure health and safety during COVID.  Agencies serving children, both outpatient and residential, kept their doors open and adapted as best practices in care were disseminated.  Residential care providers for children and adolescents had the additional task of managing emotions and addressing trauma for their residents who were unable to physically visit with their families.

All of this was done in what appeared to be a seamless manner yet must have taken significant planning, processing and thought.

For that, we say – THANK YOU. Thank you for continuing to provide care to the most vulnerable among us. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of minimizing health risk and addressing the increased anxiety for those you serve.  Thank you for not giving up and shutting your doors.  Thank you for your compassion and support. Thank you for your careful treatment.  Please know that NAMI appreciates your efforts and your professionalism.  Words alone are not enough to express our gratitude so we took the additional step to place thank you signs at certified mental health providers and ADAMH Boards across the State of Ohio.

NAMI is dedicated to improving the lives of those individuals and their families who have been impacted by a mental illness.  We believe that education, advocacy and support are vital to that mission.  We also know that recovery would not be possible without the dedication and support of mental health professionals who serve individuals and families each and every day.  They are unsung heroes who illustrate commitment, empathy and humility every day.

*NAMI Ohio wants to also thank all of our amazing affiliates and volunteers whose dedication helped make these deliveries possible.