Do Gratitude and Mental Health Go Together?

Food for Thought This Thanksgiving

As we approach Thanksgiving, all of us at CFYM offer our thanks to people who we have engaged with and have supported this unique advocacy blog. It was our vision when we launched the blog in May to provide a forum to bring peers, families, policy and legislative experts together to participate in dialogue around the issues that matter most to us – access to quality mental health care.

We have much to be thankful for this year, and in the spirit of what CFYM is all about, we’d like to share a sampling of messages from our expert contributors. Read below what they’re thankful for as they reflect on the holiday.

Allen Doederlein, President, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. I am struck by how much there is to be thankful for this year. In the broader community, this autumn alone, we have seen publication of the long-awaited final rules for implementation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, and our friend and Honorary Advisory Board member Patrick Kennedy’s coalescence of the mental health community at the inaugural Kennedy Forum Conference. As we close out the month of November, I honor and thank our nation’s Veterans, who in all they do embody peer support and giving back.

Julie Totten, President, Families for Depression Awareness. I am very thankful that all of you have come together to discuss what we can do as a united force to improve our mental health care system and enable all of us to get the care we need. It is very exciting and moving to work with all of you, reflect on the progress we have made in mental health parity, and continue to collaborate!

Ron Manderscheid, PhD, Executive Director, NACBHDD shares that Thanksgiving will be most meaningful if we place “we” and “our” far ahead of “I” and “mine”.”

Mark Covall, President and CEO, National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems believes the progress made to date in getting health insurance coverage for mental and addictive disorders on par with those for other medical conditions is something to celebrate.

Carol McDaid, Capitol Decisions postulates that gratitude is a verb not a noun. I have learned if I want to sustain my recovery I have to reach my hand back to those trying to recover behind me. By living this, I have received a life beyond anything I could have ever dreamed; and for that I am grateful.

Claire Miller, Director, Partnership for Workplace Mental Health shares that she is thankful for collaborators that allow us to have a bigger impact than we can alone. I am thankful to work with partners that generously share their energy, knowledge and opportunities to advance our mutual goal of advancing mental health. I am grateful to work on issues that matter to me.

In closing out today’s post we want to thank each of you reading and participating in CFYM. From wherever we are on our own journeys, we are part of changing the conversation about depression and bipolar disorder, helping to shift the focus from danger and drain to one of possibility and contribution. And for that we can all be grateful.

Your Turn

What are you grateful for as you reflect upon the past year?

 

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Robert Haggard | Peer Recovery Crisis Counselor | The Living Room at Turning Point

My gratitude is for health, family, friends and work that is challenging and equally rewarding. I am grateful for the blessings of a journey on the road to recovery for my family, others in need and for me. I am glad to help in any capacity possible to advance mental health care in the U.S.A. My gratitude extends to work and professional colleagues who have modeled high quality care, health, mentored and taught me. For my work at an agency that empowers me daily to exemplify health and balance, while working with peers who are in crisis, I am so full of gratitude. I have a longer list, yet I am most grateful for the unconditional love I share with my exceptional wife of 7 years. Health, hope and a wonderful holiday season, I wish for everyone.