Looking Ahead with Hope and Purpose

January 3, 2017


Happy New Year! For mostly everyone, the new year means a re-start, a refresh, setting goals and creating something new. When I think about a fresh start, I think about this gem from Melody Beattie: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”


For the adults and adolescents we serve, and their families, I hope that 2017 brings a measure of comfort and the hope of recovery. That is always what we work toward and in this spirit, I trust that this remains a constant in our work, our true North.


For all of us at Bournewood, this is a time of taking our year-long introspection and strategic planning to a new level of treatment and care, of philosophy and approach and most importantly, a re-dedication to our work for and with the individuals and their families who come to us to recover from mental health and substance use conditions.


Looking ahead to 2017, we are faced with many unknowns around the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and other changes that are inevitable with a new administration and Congress. But one thing we do know is that because of a bi-partisan effort among our federal lawmakers, we have witnessed history in the making when President Obama last month signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. This is a landmark piece of legislation that advances many components of our health system, including reinforcing mental health parity, strengthening the mental health and substance use conditions workforce and bolstering suicide prevention funding and strategies. The National Alliance on Mental Illness assembled a summary of the new law; and you can watch a video of the signing here. It truly is a moment of hope for our country.


It should also give us a new urgency to deliver the best evidence-based care possible to the individuals who need it. The 21st Century Cures Act inspires us to look to much deeper and meaningful ways to bring person-centered and trauma-informed support, evidence-based treatment and recovery to adults and adolescents – and their families – who are living with mental health and substance use conditions. It validates that mental illness and addiction conditions are diseases that can be treated and people can recover.


At Bournewood, I believe we replace suffering with hope, shame with dignity and always maintain a safe and therapeutic environment of care for patients, staff and families.


Here’s to a healthy, hopeful and peaceful new year.

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