As a Psychiatric Social Worker for the County of Santa Clara, Pho Bui dedicates her days to helping local youth facing incarceration navigate their mental health and psychological challenges.
She witnesses young individuals triumph over adversities, becoming self-sufficient, and valuable members of the community. However, amid the ongoing staffing crisis, providing critical services to these young people has become increasingly challenging.
The impact of the staffing crisis is far-reaching, affecting the timeliness and quality of services for youth in urgent need. Delays in responding to crises and untrained non-clinical staff triaging calls for community members in crisis have become distressing realities. Despite the dedicated efforts of workers like Pho Bui, the county administration has shown little willingness to negotiate a fair contract, leading to understaffed departments, employee overwork, and inadequate compensation.
The situation extends beyond Pho Bui’s department, with services across the county being interrupted and workers facing the risk of burnout. The need for support from the community is crucial to bring about meaningful change.
When workers are valued and invested in, the entire community reaps the benefits. Fair treatment and adequate resources enable employees to provide better services to residents. This translates to shorter wait times, accurate information, and a higher quality of care. Ultimately, a thriving Santa Clara community hinges on the well-being of its workers and the services they can offer.
We must act to address this pressing issue. Pho Bui and her coworkers are organizing to find a way out of the crisis, but they need the support of the community. The message is clear: the County’s Board of Supervisors must come to the table, negotiate a fair contract, and resolve the staffing crisis to ensure the well-being of both county workers and residents.
To make a difference, community members are urged to take action. Writing an email to the Board of Supervisors is a powerful way to demand accountability and a sustainable solution to the staffing crisis. By standing together, the community can send a strong message that workers’ rights and quality services are non-negotiable.
The staffing crisis in Santa Clara County poses significant challenges for workers like Pho Bui, affecting their ability to provide essential services to the community. However, with the collective support of residents, the county administration can be held accountable for negotiating a fair contract and resolving the crisis. Together, the community can pave the way for a stronger Santa Clara, where workers are empowered to provide the quality care and support that residents deserve.