Celia with a child in Peru
By School of Behavioral Health - March 16, 2021

During the month of March, I would like to celebrate our world's social workers. Many of us come into our field eager to help others and do our part to support, assist, and empower those who need us. Many times, we are in the trenches of the field, helping those without resources, knowledge, support, or linkage. We strive to get their needs met or obtain the change they require to have the quality of life and dignity we all deserve. We are warriors of change. We work to uphold our value of fighting for social justice, and use our authority and power to help those who are marginalized, vulnerable, and at risk. Although we are not always thanked for all the hard work that we do, our services never go without reward. Our communities' individuals, children, families, and elders are living safer, easier, and more empowered with every service we provide—both big and small—and in all systems, whether micro, mezzo, or macro.

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volunteers work with individuals in Peru

Celia and other volunteers assist with mental health initiatives in Peru
Despite these rewards, sometimes in this field we lose sight of ourselves while helping others. The honor shown this month should be to ourselves as well. Please honor yourself with self-care, work and home-life balance, and with confidence in your practice. This is especially important during these challenging times with COVID-19, where there are more barriers, tasks, and uncertainty in our lives and in our field. Please take the valuable time that you need and use self-care to re-energize, relax, and be kind to yourself. Give yourself the grace we all need and deserve during a time in our lives like none we have ever experienced. And as you honor yourself, be confident in who you are and the uniqueness that you add to the social work profession. And remember: as alumni and students of Loma Linda University, we are provided top-quality education, training, and professionalism that will guide us through virtually any challenge, crisis, and service for which we are called upon. 

As you step out of your homes or from behind your computer screens today, tomorrow, and every day following, may you keep the passion that brought you to our profession in your heart and your conscience. May you be safe and blessed in all your doings in your work and when you return home to your loved ones, who also need you. Happy social work month! / Feliz mes de el trabajador social!

Written by Celia Fernandez-Sutton, MSW, LCSW, Class of 2016