Next Steps in 2022

2022 Antipandemic Season concept. Medical new year background with numbers and antiviral covid-19 sign.

As we enter this next new year there is much to anticipate. We seem to be facing another contagious round with the Omicron variant that is highly contagious and threatening our schools, businesses and communities. We still need so much work to be done to find curative measures for those who contract this virus. It appears that we are still a very divided country at so many levels. We are having difficulty returning to work as we knew it and it seems we are redefining our society in ways we never thought possible. As well we are suffering as a global community with the varied consequences of COVID-19 and its variants.

We can choose to be overwhelmed by all of this or we could begin to plan to do the next right thing as a society. That simply means that each of us can have the opportunity to make a difference in our families, our places of employment, our churches, our communities and in our country. I have recently written to the issue of becoming peacemakers in a world that is so divided. However, even in smaller ways that are contextual to those we encounter each day we can be voices of hope, protection, comfort and safety. I think we all need a great deal of encouragement in such a difficult set of circumstances that we are facing together. It could be as simple as an encouraging note or word, a listening ear or even an act of compassion to help those around us in need.

At Lakeside we feel a tremendous sense of stewardship about what we can offer to a world that is trauma-impacted. We are deploying more counselors than ever to public schools to help the students who are struggling with the impact of the isolation effect of the pandemic. The needs are significant, and we are helping regional school districts develop support programs for their students. We are training schools to develop plans to make their environments safer and more trauma informed for thousands of students.

Global healthcare concept. World globe crystal glass on blue stethoscope on glossy desk. Health and medical science. Worldwide wellness business

We are also offering training to those professionals who are helping trauma-impacted individuals who are struggling with addictions, mental health issues, depression, anxiety and other related issues. We are providing that training to thousands of professionals who are working in hospitals, mental health facilities, counseling programs and other levels of social service. We are already scheduled to train thousands of professionals to help them recover and become more proficient in dealing with those who are impacted by trauma and adversity. We are also working with systems of care to help organizations become safer, more trauma aware and trauma responsive to their own staff and thousands of clients that they deal with each day.

However, that is not enough. We are currently developing a plan to improve our services, make our training more accessible and find ways to impact our systems to make them stronger, more effective and capable to deal with a larger population of individuals who are coming out of the pandemic with life crisis and so much more. We believe this will be a year of tremendous opportunity to help so many in our country who have great need and are looking for help, hope and a way to cope. As tragic as this all is, we are anticipating some amazing impact and hopefulness that we can make a difference in the midst of tremendous adversity.

All of us can contribute and the time for change, help and hope is glaringly apparent. I sincerely hope we can all rally together and work diligently to support each other in this 2022 New Year.  At Lakeside we will be on the forefront of a movement for healing and recovery.

Gerry Vassar


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