Non-profit harm is often hard to identify and define because of its structural and systemic layers. There is a growing lack of transparency and accountability that harms the very individuals these organizations set out to help. Many organizations have hopped on the bandwagon to provide in-house mental health and wellness resources for their employees. Non-profit organizations have applied for grants and fundraised to support these efforts. However, few of these organizations follow the advice of trauma-informed care and culturally responsive wellness providers related to terminating these relationships. This is a decision that ultimately perpetuates harm.
After building and maintaining therapeutic relationships for two years, on January 24th I was informed that, due to a budget crisis, my services would no longer be needed effective January 31st. Employees have access to my calendar for three months. I currently have sessions scheduled into March.
The services that I provide include one-on-one, no barrier therapy sessions to employees. In addition to coaching sessions related to work/life balance, skill development for young adults, workplace crisis sessions, and more. The employees of the organization are predominantly Black and Brown, queer, and young adults at varying stages in their community oriented careers. They are organizers, advocates, and mentors for younger generations in the Denver metropolitan area.
In addition to the budget crisis, some of the staff have expressed frustration about losing access to wellness services. I intend to continue providing services to support them as they process this information, along with the news of termination.
While budget shortfalls are a common symptom of the non-profit industrial complex, the decision to terminate services within a 7 day timeframe does not provide time to appropriately close cases for individuals receiving trauma-informed care and/or culturally responsive wellness services.
Non-profit employees deserve an appropriate transfer of care, that includes an appropriate transition and termination, to reduce harm.
I identify as a Black queer social worker. Many of us do the work with the understanding that we often have to fill in the gaps so that our clients receive the wellness services that they deserve. My plan is to close with the employees that would like to terminate, and continue providing free services beyond March. Your donation will cover sessions for February and March.