Yesterday, we hosted a wonderful webinar with The Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (APA Division 44), where a panel of psychologists and trainees across career phases discussed their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis. Our focus is on the experiences of gender and sexually diverse psychologists, as well as on service to LGBTQIA+ patients, but I hope this is useful to practitioners and servants from many different backgrounds. I had the privilege to moderate a panel of my distinguished colleagues. They shared how they are caring for themselves – from taking joy in their families to reinvigorating their mindfulness practices. They shared growth in their understanding of themselves and their role within their communities. Frustrations, they had too, and they shared limits in being able to care for patients, from barriers to providing telemedicine to rural and poverty-affected patients caught up in struggling with the unintended consequences of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders. We discussed feelings of being sidelined as behavioral health providers and teachers, in this crisis, recognizing advocacy opportunities this situation brings, and, together with our attendees and fellow Division members, we talked about how we can do more. Check it out!
Oh! Two more things. Besides making sure the community has access to and can process empirical science, and helping individuals and communities manage the major life changes and behavioral interventions COVID-19 has required, psychologists have been working together with our many siblings-in-arms to recognize, address, and minimize disparities in access to care and in who gets an opportunity to thrive during this challenging time. The hashtag is #EquityFlattensTheCurve, and you can follow this link to find out more.
And, finally, to everyone out there: whether you are on the front-lines of face-to-face crisis healthcare delivery, whether you have been able to implement telemedicine to continue to support others, whether you are doing some other kind of essential work, from home or from your regular place of work, or whether you are just helping your community by practicing social distancing and sheltering at home, or by everyday acts of love and kindness for your family and neighbors. You are loved. You are valued. No one may ever truly understand the sacrifices you are making, but you are heroes to us.