I think we will all agree that 2020 has been a tough year; one for the books. Please know you are not alone. If the Missouri Mental Health Foundation can assist in providing resources and/or contact information for treatment and recovery providers, please do not hesitate to contact us.
This has been a busy and exciting year for the Foundation as we focused on our rebranding efforts to improve our web site and expand our marketing outreach. In addition, like many others, we learned to adjust to a remote work environment for a few months and became quite familiar with Zoom! Due to the concerns and spread of COVID-19, on-site events are moving towards virtual events, and we challenged ourselves to expand our knowledge in this area and continue bringing opportunities to the general public. We are fortunate to work with many dedicated individuals and partners. Partnerships are simply priceless! Hang in there with us as we all try to adjust to a new “normal”. We may trip along this journey, but we will get back up, wipe ourselves off, and start again.
On a personal note, as I phase out of the Executive Director role due to my retirement at the end of 2020, I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many individuals, organizations, and businesses that have touched my life and supported the Foundation these past nine years. A new Executive Director comes on board July 1st, and I will continue to consult with the Foundation during the transition period.
As I reflect on the last nine years, I am certainly proud of the work, dedication, and commitment of the Board of Directors and MMHF staff. This amazing team continues to work together tirelessly to further our mission of raising awareness and public understanding of issues impacting individuals and families living with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders. We have grown from one part-time Executive Director in 2011, to three staff and numerous events, trainings, and activities during this period. It has truly been a privilege and honor to work with my team and the Board of Directors.
To our many partner organizations and businesses, thank you for your on-going support of the Foundation’s mission and work. Partnerships have allowed us to bridge gaps in expertise, knowledge, financial support, and outreach efforts. They forge lasting friendships and business relationships. In the non-profit world, they are an absolute necessity!
Most importantly, to the individuals and families living with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders — It is through you and because of you, my life has truly been enriched, and my knowledge and understanding of mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders enhanced greatly. You taught me so much! Your voice, your inspiration, your friendships, and your commitment to this cause made me a better Executive Director, so I am eternally grateful to you. I will always be your biggest cheerleader!
It takes a “village” working together to battle the stigma and discrimination of mental health conditions, and I have been fortunate to have been a part of the best of the best! This role has always been more than a job to me – it is a personal passion. I will always be a voice for individuals and families living with mental health conditions. Thank you for the memories and wonderful opportunities. May each of you stay safe and healthy.