Awesome May Not Be a Strong Enough Word!
Mosaic Direct Support Professionals Are Awesome.
This week is Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, and “Awesome” is the theme we’re using to celebrate Mosaic’s DSPs.
If you know a Direct Support Professional, you know their work is not always easy. It can be physically demanding and also emotionally draining due to the challenges of serving people who, often, cannot do many things without assistance. While many people supported by Mosaic have a higher degree of independence, we also support many who, because of limited mobility, need assistance with the activities of everyday life such as eating, bathing, using the bathroom, dressing, moving into and out of a bed or a chair.
It means the person supported needs to allow someone into some of the most private and intimate moments of everyday life; they don’t really have a choice because they need the support.
For most direct support professionals, the work is not seen as a job because they enter into relationships with those they serve. Often, for the person supported, a direct support professional is the primary relationship in that person’s life—they matter. Knowing that, you can understand why the current turnover rates of direct support professionals across many human services is tragic.
Being a DSP is a challenging, but for the right person, exceptionally fulfilling role. Yet it is often an invisible role. Direct support professionals generally seek to put the person they support front and center, not themselves. They speak up, when needed, to advocate for the individual’s desires and needs, but they primarily are there simply to support, to help someone else have a better life.
That’s why Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is important. Their role is vital not only to the health and well-being of those they serve–but also to the health and well-being of families who have a loved one with a disability and to the communities where they serve. That’s part of the reason Mosaic and other similar organizations advocate for higher pay to reward their work.
At its heart, Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is about awareness. DSPs don’t seek to stand out and to be lifted up–as I noted, they’re happy to stay in the background and serve. But Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is a way to raise awareness about what they do and to voice appreciation and celebrate who they are.
Truly, DSPs make the world a better place by their selfless acts of kindness, compassion and support to help others.