Last week I had the opportunity to facilitate a a group of women state legislators who are members of a task force on mental health and substance abuse for the organization, Women in Government (http://www.womeningovernment.org). And they gave me hope in our policymakers.
I had some trepidation to facilitate this meeting given the topic/problem is not my content expertise so knew I would have to heavily rely on my meeting design, facilitation, and synthesis skills to help this task force identify policies to address mental health and substance abuse. I am so glad I agreed to facilitate this group. With all of the negativity at the federal level, whether it is refusing to follow the constitution to vote on a Supreme Court nominee; the multiple partisan stalemates in congress and the senate; or the disparaging rhetoric monopolizing the presidential primaries, this meeting reminded me that we have some amazing people in state office who deeply care about the populace, citizens, and how to work in a bipartisan way to create a state infrastructure along with policies. The other really fun part of facilitating this work group was to meet women who are in a state legislative role and be part of a group of wonderfully smart women who are authentically collaborative and work to learn from each other to craft ideas and potential recommendations that other states could consider when addressing mental health and substance abuse. I am just grateful I was reminded that there are some political leaders out there who are working for and with us and taking on major challenges like mental health and substance abuse.
Thank you Women in Government (http://www.womeningovernment.org)!