Hello my friends!
I know it has been quite some time since I have written in this space. I have been busy starting my art business, Zarit Glassworks (shameless plug, I know.) and trying to get my migraines under control. I have also been hard at work with mental health advocacy. I have never stopped that. It has and always will be a passion of mine. I may take a break from time to time as needed, but I always come back.
Well, today, I and a few others met with two of Senator Murray’s staff members for two hours. We were able to share our stories, our experiences, our concerns about mental health care reform, our concerns about current/future policies. It was wonderful! It was an incredible opportunity. It was something I never thought would be possible on my own without the backing of a large organization. I’ve never made it a secret that I parted ways with AFSP. However, I harbor no ill feelings toward them at all. We may have a difference of opinions, but without them I would not have the voice I have now nor the advocacy skills I possess. In fact, I even advocated for their Centers of Excellence today because that is one of their lobbying points that I happen to agree with. I still direct people to them for support and I even help people with fundraising for them.
Anyway, I’m not sure what the outcome will be of today’s meeting. One thing I do know for sure, it felt great to have the ear of the highest ranking member of the senate. Even if nothing comes of today’s meeting, I can rest easy now. I know in my heart that I have truly done my best. I can now get off my soap box about HR 2646. I believe our HIPPA rights will be fine. I know CIT for first responders is going to be alright. I know Congress has been educated by people living with mental illness. I know I have been heard. What more could I ask for?
I can’t control what Congress will or won’t pass. All I can do is try to educate people and hope it makes a difference. For those of you that sent me your vignettes in the past, they made it to Congress. They were read. They would like more. Please feel free to send me more. I am happy to pass them along. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Just keep it to one page in length.
I will try to write more often.
Thank you for your support and thank you for reading.