“As a psychologist, I have a responsibility to my colleagues.
Seeing how each member of our team worked 24 hours a day without a break inspired me not to stop but to mobilize all of my energy and use all my professional skills to strengthen and encourage them”.
The beginning of 2020 has become a turning point in many ways, not only for our country, but for the whole world. The test that we all had to pass was the most difficult both psychologically and physically.
During this period the Armenian Red Cross Society remained true to its values, its humanitarian mission, and its call to help people in need.
It is one thing when you work in peaceful conditions and it’s completely different when you have to be constantly active, available, and as efficient as possible in an emergency situation.
We tried to ignore our stress and anxiety, while we focused on work; one of our main duties was to avoid negative emotions.
At the very beginning of the pandemic, we faced the most challenging task: to overcome the social stigma of COVID-19 existing in the country. The discrimination that rose among the population was directed towards those infected with COVID. We understood that we could eliminate stigma only by providing comprehensive information – and our team has been working hard to do so.
Furthermore, as a psychologist, I have a responsibility towards my colleagues.
Seeing how each member of our team worked 24 hours a day, without a break, inspired me not to stop but to mobilize all of my energy and use all my professional skills to strengthen and encourage them.
We created teams that helped each other, and in these mutually supportive relationships we shared work and experiences to achieve a common goal.
As soon as we noticed that one of our colleagues was beginning to burn out, we immediately replaced him/her with another colleague, took him/her out of the field, provided psychological first aid, and gave him/her time to calm down and recover. Only after that, the team-member could return to the field.
My efforts and those of my colleagues were accompanied by intense and specific information and training sessions, organized by the Armenian Red Cross Society. They strengthened us to keep up the quality and efficiency of our work in the field during the pandemic.
Personally, the period of the pandemic has given me a very valuable experience. I feel like I have grown significantly as a professional during this hard time. I am glad that even in this difficult situation, the Red Cross gave me and my colleagues unique opportunities for self-development.
In general, helping people inspires me. In my opinion, life is meaningful when you help people and make their life easier with your daily activities; when you give them the right push in their actions and help them achieve success and harmony. In doing so, I take back the greatest positive charge, which gives me fulfillment.
My key tips for all future psychologists:
- Work competently while maintaining professional etiquette
- Be honest with colleagues
- All of us, from time to time, face stress and stressful situations. This is normal – the point is to quickly get out of this state
- Though most importantly, you should understand the actual causes of the stressors