I’m always amazed how life keeps me focused on priorities – if I pay attention. It’s usually just a whisper in my gut; a series of small events that show me the way.
When you have a mental illness, it can be difficult to stay focused on your calling, your passion, what gets your fire burning. For me, my anxiety and depression can cloud my thoughts and my confidence making me question whether my voice and advocacy about mental illness really matter – I’m just one person in a big sea of noise and information.
This time, the whisper of encouragement has come as a series of people reaching out for support regarding their or a loved one’s mental illness; connecting with a nephew about his journey with psychosis and the poems he’s penned; and the quick messages people send thanking me for my continued work.
Joining together with the Grace & Kindness Foundation has opened a beautiful new world for me brimming with hope and opportunity. During the past month, Grace & Kindness and The Lemonade Project have:
- Developed a video about Run with Grace and Champions of Change (check it out below).
- Successfully executed the third annual Run With Grace 5K.
- Hosted another Champions of Change teen chat about mental illness and suicide.
- Participated in a legislative breakfast advocating for equitable mental illness coverage and more mental health workforce in the schools.
- Created a Champions of Change logo with a high school senior participating in the program.
- Applied for two grants to expand and support the Champions of Change efforts.
And, we are forging forward with the submission of more grants and requesting donations; plans for a new Grace & Kindness and Champions of Change website; continued teen chats, insight and guidance; and development of support materials for other communities.
I know that this mission that keeps my fire burning is my calling and life-critical to so many. Thank you for your continued support to help us #SqueezeOutStigma and emphasize that #KindnessMatters.