What follows is the text of a speech I made at Journey Mental Health Center’s annual fundraiser on April 21, 2012. Private and corporate donors, staff, consumers, volunteers and board members attended the event. The theme of the evening was “A Night in Casablanca.”
In the movie Casablanca, a character named Sam sings a song that contains the line, “The fundamental things apply as time goes by.” This caused me to ask myself, “What are the fundamental things that nurture a satisfying life?”
I would submit to you that they include 1) decent, affordable healthcare, 2) decent, affordable housing, 3) a good education, 4) strong, stable relationships and 5) meaningful work. Those of us who have these things may take them for granted but those who do not realize how really precious they are.
Journey Mental Health Center is in the business of helping people to achieve and hold on to the fundamental things of life. Whether we are working with a family struggling to rally around a child with a mental illness, an adult diagnosed with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders or a senior who is coping with both physical and mental health problems as well as a declining support system, our goal is to illuminate and share the path from hope to recovery.
Last year we served a record number of people at Journey and this year we are on a pace to shatter that record. Despite these results, the demand for our services continues to exceed the supply. That is where you come in. Your financial and in-kind contributions enable us to continue to provide evidenced based, culturally competent, recovery oriented services to those who come to our doors regardless of their ability to pay.
About a week ago I had a lengthy conversation with a mom whose child is challenged with both mental and physical health problems. Just before we hung up, she said “Thank you for being there.” Regarded one way, this is a very low standard to meet but regarded another way, it may be the highest standard of all. So, on behalf of the consumers, staff, volunteers and board members of Journey Mental Health Center, I want to say, “Thank you for being there” and to assure you that neither our commitment nor our gratitude will diminish as time goes by.