Help is Available for Pandemic, Holiday Grief
Submitted to the Wilson Times by: J. Glenn Osborne
I am writing to express my support for the Wilson community during these unprecedented times; navigating a worldwide pandemic and experiencing a reckoning with racial injustice during 2020 have presented challenges and opportunities for all of us.
The Wilson County Department of Social Services is proud to serve this community, and we want to be part of creating a trauma-informed, resilient place where all are welcome, differences are celebrated, injustice is recognized and rectified and we make a conscious choice to focus on what connects us.
This holiday season is unlike any other we have experienced, and many of us are dealing with grief and loss compounded by not being able to see our loved ones and close friends. Some of us are experiencing financial difficulties and feel overwhelmed with how long we have been living through our new normal. Please reach out for help if you are feeling depressed or suicidal, anxious or hopeless. If your drinking or drug use has increased to the point where you are worried you can’t stop, please know that everyone needs help at times. Through calling the Hope 4 NC Helpline at 1-855-587-3463, you will be connected to local helping resources.
The Wilson County DSS is a trauma-informed agency, and we believe in the resiliency of individuals and families. Our adverse childhood experiences do not have to define us. Accessing mental health and substance misuse services should be seen as routine medical care. There should be no stigma associated with being strong and brave enough to recognize you need help. Many of our customers have benefited from our trauma screening, assessment and treatment services, and we have been amazed by how much trauma-informed foster parent training has strengthened the parenting abilities of our foster families. Trauma-informed treatment has given children and youth the ability to recognize their triggers, express themselves and channel their energy in productive ways.
As director of the Wilson County DSS for more than 27 years, I remain humbled by the compassion and resiliency of our community. We are in this together and there is hope, so reach out and make a positive connection to someone today. You will not regret time spent on building others up, listening and focusing on what’s good in the world.
J. Glenn Osborne, Wilson
The writer is director of the Wilson County Department of Social Services.