Don’t you just love when you come across a quote or saying that speaks to you? One that seems to jump off the page and straight into your heart? The first quote on the first day of my 2022 daily calendar did just that: “It’s going to be hard, but because you’ve picked something you’re passionate about, you’re going to enjoy the journey.” -Adi Tatarko
2022 has started off with its share of “hard” already. For those living with mental illnesses, things like rising COVID numbers, extreme cold weather, less sunlight, and stressors like the holidays can escalate symptoms, increase substance use, and turn homelessness into a dangerous situation quickly. There has been an increase in referrals to our mental health programs over the past month, especially our Aftercare program, which serves those at a higher risk of psychiatric hospitalization. And despite community based mental health services being essential in reducing hospitalizations and improving the quality of life for those struggling with mental illness, low reimbursement rates have stretched our budget thin and increased our caseloads.
Through this all, I am fortunate to be on this journey with a team of amazing colleagues as passionate about mental health as I am. We each have our own personal reasons for choosing to work in this field, and the success stories are what keep us coming back for more. Some people pull on our heartstrings and cause us to lose sleep at night. Some have us cheering and rooting for their continued recovery and smiling ear to ear as we take pride in being part of their journey. Every person who comes through one of our programs has their own unique story and goals they are trying to achieve in order to live their best life despite their illness.
So, as we continue marching through 2022, I look forward to continuing this journey with my team and our mental health warriors. There will be tears, cheers, growth, laughter, good days, and bad days. We will continue fighting for those that deserve to live their best life. We will continue advocating for adequate mental health services for all. We will continue sharing our passion for helping others. And it will be worth it.