Yes, they did. Big dreams -- seemingly impossible dreams -- came true as the mental health community witnessed long-awaited miracles in 2013.
Liza Long dreamed that one day she would be able to speak her truth about her family's experience living with a child with serious mental health challenges. Her blog went viral in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown which was the beginning of this dream being realized. The full dream came true with her recent TEDTalk where she shares her family's stark reality and advocates stridently for better mental health treatment and the elimination of stigma.
Mrs. Rosalynn Carter and Patrick Kennedy have been working to see mental health parity implemented through the legislative process for decades. In November, at the Carter Center, Secretary Sebelius announced the monumental news of the final regulations for this law. Check! Mental health will be treated in the same manner as any other physical disorder - another dream come true!
People all over the country hoped for more resources for mental health care. During the week of the anniversary of the tragedy in Newtown, the White House announced the allocation of $100 million in mental health funding. Yes, access to care for more people, especially in rural areas. Dreams do come true!
NAMI NYC had a dream that people would make the pledge to listen to individuals who live with mental health challenges. Their #iwilllisten campaign has gone viral with powerful videos inspiring us all. Mariel Hemingway debuted her #iwilllisten video as she hosted the NAMI NYC Gala in December and she has devoted 2013 to mental health advocacy through her documentary, Running from Crazy, . Thank you Mariel for creating dreams born from courage.
At the Flawless Foundation, we have a dream that radical forgiveness will become mainstream in understanding and accepting people with mental illness who are shunned by society. The grace of the families of Newtown who recently met with Vice President Biden to advocate for better mental health treatments has taken our breath away as they pave the way toward unconditional love as a nation. Nelba, Nicole, Bill and Mark inspire us with their commitment to mental wellness through their compassionate #iwilllisten videos. The creation of the Sandy Hook Promise is stunningly beautiful and was launched with love, passion and power. Thank you to the heroic community of Newtown for being an awe inspiring example to us all.
We are on our way to skyrocketing hope through access to treatment, better outcomes, more research and healing for the millions of people living with brain disorders, but we need to unite in voice and spirit. This revolution requires every single one of us coming together and taking action. What can you do? Watch these important videos, share this blog, check in with someone who you know with mental health challenges, support a mental health initiative, share your own experiences and, above all else, listen.
Let's make 2014 the year of miracles beyond our wildest dreams.
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