As we near a new year, we have great hopes for a brighter, healthier future in which we can all reconnect more fully with one another and those we love. But despite the challenges and loss we’ve all faced in 2020, in many ways it has been a year of change, growth and renewal.
We found ways of staying connected and close through determination and technology. We continued to serve our consumers, both remotely and in person, and to support the unique needs caused by greater illness, job loss and anxiety. For many, a new focus on Telehealth has made it easier to receive the care and support they need. We hope this additional pathway to care continues long after the pandemic.
We saw increased partnership and collaboration with those we’ve worked closely with in the past and forged new friendships. For example, Multnomah and Washington county behavioral health departments enabled LifeWorks NW and other providers to offer free, short-term COVID counseling programs. Partners, like CareOregon, and other foundations stepped up with funding for a variety of needs, including phones and tablets so clients could stay connected remotely. Donors rallied, too, to help meet our consumers’ basic needs for food, shelter and support.
Tragic injustice and heightened health disparities created a greater awareness of systemic racism in our community, state and nation. Personally, it has reinvigorated our commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization and expanding our support efforts to Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
We hope the lessons learned and the improvements made during this unprecedented time will carry forward into a new year filled with promise. We look forward to a year filled with greater health and well-being and renewed energy to create a more equitable, supportive and collaborative future for all.