I think we are all quite exhausted by all the political messages that have been pummeling us in the media in light of the mid-term elections.
I recognize that it is a part of what happens politically in our country but for some reason things feel so much more intense to me. The extent of the negative ads and polarization of our nation seems very serious. It makes one wonder what will be happening next after these elections.
As I have traveled the country, and spoken with many professionals, counties and schools who deal with children and adults who have been traumatized, there is real concern that we are spiraling in negative directions. Funding shortages, lack of access to treatment, systems that exist in silos, untrained staff, staff vicarious trauma and consequent turnover and increasing people who are addicted, mentally ill, committing crimes and suicidal have painted a bleak picture for our communities, state and country.
We have a very long battle ahead of us in order to resolve these difficulties and are in need of a great deal of help from many sources.
We also need to provide our professionals with training and work environments that will be supportive of them and their clients. I believe it is entirely possible to make significant change through relationships over time if we are willing and resilient enough to do so.
I am extremely encouraged to see how our Lakeside staff provides support to our students and to those professionals that we train. It is exciting to sit where I sit each day and see all the impact of caring professionals with such character and commitment. I often reflect on our Lakeside logo which is designed in such a way that our organizational name resides right in the middle of diverse fragmentation. Our programs are as multi-faceted as the fragmentation of the lives of those we touch. We choose to stand right at ground zero with those problems. We are intentionally pursuing, protecting, guiding and supporting those who have struggled so intensely with their many life traumas and struggles.
There are many professionals and organizations like Lakeside who are also standing in the gap. So many staff are working at low wages in poor conditions with high stress as they stand with those in their care. I thank each of them and want to encourage them with help and support as we strive to provide more training and connection to resources that they desperately need. We need each of them to be healthy and capable in their vital role of healing those who have been impacted by adversities and trauma. In so doing, we will all have better outcomes for so many who need our help.