What a busy but amazing month June was and we are ready to embrace whatever comes our way during July. It was an honor to serve as Georgia’s State Captain again for Hill Day with the National Council for Behavioral Health. In addition to the congressional meetings we held, it was great to be among so many of my friends across the USA advocating for behavioral health.
Statistics paint a picture of the impact of mental illness in the United States. 1 in 5 is powerful to think about. More and more it is evident that we are winning the Stigma War but we cannot stop fighting the battle….we must continue to make ourselves available….through speaking up and speaking out, through opportunities for access, through support to anyone we meet. Mental illness and addiction does not discriminate. It touches us all in some fashion….1 in 5 is powerful to think about.
For me it is not just about my role here at the GACSB. It is much more personal than that. It is about answering the phone all hours of the day and night, it is about responding to social media messages, text messages and emails….from my own family, my friends, and others who are seeking help. June was an especially fulfilling month, personally, as I was afforded the opportunity to personally navigate family and friends to seek help for a variety of reasons. Life events often creep up on us and sometimes it just takes the right voice, the right words to encourage someone to ask for help. Are you that person who is not afraid to speak up and speak out? Are you someone’s “Go To”? Lived experience only makes us stronger!
The GACSB is always here to help YOU navigate the behavioral healthcare system in GA. Reach out if you or someone you love needs help!
I will leave you with one of my favorite poems, “Prayer at Sunrise,” written by James Weldon Johnson.
O greater Maker of this Thy great sun,
Give me the strength this one day’s race to run,
Fill me with light, fill me with sun-like strength,
Fill me with joy to rob the day its length.
Light from within, light that will outward shine,
Strength to make strong some weaker heart than mine,
Joy to make glad each soul that feels its touch;
Great Father of the sun, I ask this much.