“Life happens at intersections.”
Jack Dorsey, Internet Entrepreneur
CEO, Twitter; CEO, Square
An intersection represents a relationship between two or more pathways, a creative co-mingling of passion, ideas and action that wouldn’t happen on an uninterrupted thoroughfare. It is at intersections that our direction, pace and effectiveness in getting where we want to go is determined. Of course, intersections can be noisy, chaotic with signage and tangled with traffic and pedestrians, and stopping in the middle of a busy intersection is rarely a good idea. Intersections can also be isolated and lonely, and may not have clear signposts to help you along your journey.
When we talk about Mental Health at the Intersections, we are talking about where mental health appears at the junction of life’s daily demands and the pursuit of meaning in all other areas of our daily lives: our physical health; our children and families; our diverse populations and cultures; and our workplaces, neighborhoods and communities. Until recent years, our human service delivery systems, schools, research efforts and public/private funding streams have been deeply isolated from one another where mental health is concerned, and have only in the margins, recently, taken into account the intersection of all things.
In our daily lives, behavioral wellness of individuals and families is directly connected to our social, academic and economic success. The strengths and creativity we bring forth as a result of who we are, where we come from and how we live together are vital to solving shared challenges. How all these things get talked about and applied to our governments, non-profits, schools and resources leads directly to more effective care for people living with mental illness, better support for those who love, live and work with them, and the elimination of the outdated, and still all-too-pervasive stigma of mental illness.
“When you step into an intersection of fields, disciplines, or cultures, you can combine existing concepts into a large number of extraordinary ideas.”
Frans Johansson, Innovator, Entrepreneur, Author
The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, and Cultures
The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World.
Whether on personal, interpersonal, community and global levels, it all comes back to those relationships between two or more paths taken (or not), the intersections of challenge, belief, knowledge, determination and resources that we face every moment of every day. These are what shape the ways in which we navigate Mental Health at the Intersections, make the choices and take the actions that lead to the next stretch of road on our individual and collective journeys.
These are the themes to be explored at NAMI Washington’s 2018 Annual Statewide Conference.