A Message from Monarch’s President & CEO Dr. Peggy Terhune
I am sad, frustrated, upset and angry at the news of the world lately. The murder of George Floyd was wrong. It was devastating. It was the latest in a long string of painful injustices that have played out in communities across our country.
Monarch is a mental health and human services company and so I feel compelled to ask you, how are you doing? Many of Monarch’s patients, staff, family members and friends are people of color. When they tell me they live in fear, I believe them. I know their lives are not the same as mine. And, I am concerned for their safety and their well-being.
As a white woman, I have not experienced what they have.
But, as the parent of an adopted black son and the grandparent of bi-racial grandchildren, I have had a glimpse into the effects of racism, oppression and injustice experienced by those I love. My children have had to have hard conversations with their children about what is required to ensure their safety every day. They have faced discrimination that has deeply affected their lives and it is heartbreaking.
At Monarch, we acknowledge the trauma caused by racism and we choose to speak out against it. We commit to working for racial equity in our organization and in the communities we serve. We accept responsibility to engage in conversation that will lead to change.
Upon hire at Monarch, staff participate in “Getting It Right” and trauma-informed care trainings. These trainings encourage and prepare staff to provide critical services in a fair and equitable way from a place of understanding and empathy. Our Board of Directors is also actively working to ensure the board is representative of the communities we serve. And we are encouraging our staff to come together in conversation around these issues that concern us all.
We will continue to devote time and resources to these and other efforts as we move forward.
The fight against racism is a dynamic process and one that we are committed to be a part of. This is a long journey and we know there may be missteps along the way, but we are always dedicated to working through them, because, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Mental health is a fragile thing and we know recent events will have far-reaching effects. Our job at Monarch is to care for people, and so I will ask again, how are you? The events of the past two weeks may have likely triggered painful and traumatic memories for people of color. They have also left many of us feeling angry and emboldened to help.
We are here to listen. We are here to help. We are concerned about you. I invite you to call us at (866) 272-7826, if we can provide support.