Our strong values have guided us through this past year. As I write this letter, we continue to navigate a global pandemic, social inequity, significant teen mental health concerns, an uptick in substance abuse and overdose, and more. Many organizations like our own have buckled, and indeed caved, under the strain. I believe that the past 18 months have been a defining moment for our society – and a defining moment for LEAD. So, I want to share with you some highlights of our story during COVID-19.
I was happy to see that, beginning in January of 2022, students across Illinois will be able to take up to five excused mental health days per school year. I think this is another very positive step in destigmatizing mental health and encouraging persons of all ages to seek support and help when they need it. You can learn more here.