Government shutdown causing traumatic conditions for federal workers

As a mental health professional, I am watching the shutdown with dismay as the impact on the lives of federal workers and those who depend on them continues into a second week (“The 800,000 faces of the government shutdown,” Jan. 11).

With all of the discussion about paying more attention to issues of mental health, President Donald Trump and members of Congress are busy creating the very conditions that will be with us for some time to come. Federal workers are already struggling with the anxiety of making ends meet and living in the limbo of having no idea of when the shutdown will end.

I can only imagine them wrestling with their sense of betrayal and the clear message that their value is being called into question. What can be left of their commitment to their work after surviving this ridiculous and avoidable condition? What happens when what starts out as an inconvenience becomes a trauma?

We all need a sense of value. It will take a lot of work to restore that to these workers in order to help them and to revive a working government.

Gilbert Bliss, Towson

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