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Dear Samaritan Colleagues and Friends,

I have been feeling the weight of the changes into which we have been pushed over the past three months. Yet I feel blessed to be in such good company as we work together to fulfill our personal “whys” and Samaritan’s mission. The coronavirus pandemic made us aware of how fragile our lives are. It has also shown us how to be more mindful of pacing our lives, interacting with nature, and relating to one another in new and healthy ways. Yet just as we make some movement towards the hoped-for new normalcy, another wave of unsettling events shakes us and reminds us that the normal we knew is not coming back—and it should not come back.

The recent murder of George Floyd and its cascading effects have made clear that we must also face a different kind of threat. This threat—racism and oppression—is generational, and if we don’t take action now, it will continue to inflict irreparable damage to our nation. George Floyd’s death is not an isolated case, and the reaction is not new. His death is just the most recent to be made public among the countless, senseless deaths and incidents of aggression that so badly hurt our brothers and sisters of color and other minority groups in our nation every day.

The same way we were urged to come together to fight the virus, we have to come together to fight the systemic hate we perpetuate when we ignore it exists. As mental health care providers, we must be aware so we can be effective agents of change. Cultural humility has to start with each one of us individually. I aspire to lead our agency in a way that keeps an open a dialogue; encourages us to be mindful of our own biases; and engenders openness and respect in our interactions with colleagues and clients, friends and family members, and our brothers and sisters around the country and globe.

Borrowing the words of Mayor Melvin Carter from St. Paul, Minnesota, I wish you all peace, not patience,

Rosangela Berbert MSE, LPC, NCC
Executive Director
Samaritan, Inc.
1478 Kenwood Dr., Suite 1
Menasha, WI  54952
Office: (920) 886-9319 Ext. 301
Mobile: (920) 312-1121
Fax: (920) 886-9357
[email protected]