Student Editor Column

Published by Division 45 on

Malini Basedo

Malini Basdeo

Within my Trinidadian family, it is believed that it takes a whole community to heal one person’s pain. In this way, each member of the community plays a role in caring for the larger group. In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the concept of healing as a community has become increasingly more relevant, as more people begin to recognize collective action as a necessity to managing this crisis. Earlier this year, while reflecting on the Warrior’s Path initiative, I had wondered how our communities would differ if protecting others was as commonly emphasized as caring for others, in the way that we provide care every day as constituents of the field of psychology. What would this mean for our work individually, or our ambitions collectively, if caring naturally involved protecting the most vulnerable?

Now that we are observing the ways that COVID-19 is augmenting disparities and disproportionately affecting disempowered populations, protecting the vulnerable as a community must be a priority. However, the reality that we face (and faced even prior to the current viral threat) is one which we must stand in opposition to those who impose on our values, for the well-being of ourselves and those we serve.

As I reflect on my own responsibilities and what I can do as a career and protector, I consider the privilege inherent in these roles. Concurrently, it is our privileges that empower us to be supports for others. I feel proud to be a part of a community that pivoted so quickly to meet the needs that only we can fulfill as mental health professionals, while supporting one another along the way. Just as my family and culture have taught me, it is within a larger group that one’s power to heal truly thrives.

Focus Spring 2020