As we approach this coming 2023 New Year, I hope the holidays have been restful and enjoyable with your family and friends. I know for many of us the gatherings will continue through the New Year holiday and there will be much to look forward to in the coming year.
For me as I lead Lakeside, I think of the tremendous stewardship we feel towards our students, our families and our systems of care. There is so much desperate need in our country. We continue to see the alarming statistics of what is happening in the world of mental health, addictions and within our education and healthcare systems.
On the one hand it is difficult to look at these statistics and see the real time impact of some of these realities. On the other hand, we have tremendous opportunities to provide help, healing and hope to so many in need.
It starts with each family caring for its own family members. For those that have struggled through the holidays, I hope you will find the right therapeutic milieu for yourself and/or family members. It is not easy since our systems of care are often overwhelmed. It tells us that we have a long way to go in support, training and development of these systems.
I hope we all can be a part of the growing support of those in need. It will require political will, effective communication of needs, funding, training and clarity on how to meet the specific needs. It will be important that we make training and funding available nationally for all those who are working to help our families that are in crisis. Our hope will be that families will find those services available and easier to access.
I am the kind of person who looks forward to these challenges, to meeting new challenges, to examining our current ways of thinking and providing approaches that will address these issues contextually to each family and our communities.
I hope you will continue to follow our blog and hear about our work at Lakeside which provides services to approximately 6,000 students and training to 6,000 professionals annually who then have impact to thousands more. With the world around us we anticipate that number will grow in this coming year.
Speaking for those of us at Lakeside, I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year and that 2023 will bring you blessings, good health, safety and much fulfillment.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO