Here are five things that caught my attention!
Behavioral Health Workforce: This one is important. I've made investing in reimagining and rebuilding our behavioral health system my highest priority. But one of the main things slowing down our progress is a critical shortage of trained mental health and drug treatment counselors. We don’t have enough Community Health Workers, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, Therapists, Social Workers, and the human capital we need to meet the needs of a growing region. We knew that. But we didn’t know exactly who, and how many workers we needed in each role, until now. We’re proud to roll out a first-of-its-kind Behavioral Health Workforce Report that outlines the steps needed to build out the mental health and addiction service workforce we need to serve our region. We’ll use the findings to attract, train, and retain more workers. Please give it a read and attend our August 23rd symposium where we will discuss our findings in greater detail.
Clear the Shelters: Almost two months ago we rescued Nacho!!! He is such a great dog (minus the isolated shoe consumption). This month, our county animal shelters are waiving all fees to help you bring home the companion of your dreams! If you are on the fence, watch this video of the first time I met Nacho:) Then go get your dog! (or cat, if you are a cat person).
God is Not A Culture Warrior: Republicans are not shy about using God as a political weapon. They do it in every election, in every part of this country. As a person of faith and as a church-goer, it gets harder and harder to reconcile the God of the Bible and the God that today’s Republicans profess to follow. As one Anglican priest puts it, “The God of Sunday service seemed powerful and holy, yet gentle and beautiful. The God in our cultural discourse seems impotent and irrelevant, a mostly sociological phenomenon related to political posturing and power plays.” I recommend you read her piece this week in the Times.
Great Candidate: I follow Arkansas politics pretty regularly. It is kind of depressing. But I have been really inspired by their candidate for Governor Dr. Chris Jones. So imagine my surprise when I randomly ran into him at a restaurant! He has an uphill climb, but anyone running against Sarah Huckabee Sanders is someone worthy of our support!
Organization of Peace and Tranquility: I am not most comfortable in a suit at a podium. My wife managed to catch (and of course post) my point of maximum comfort (good wife, good book, good dog, good boots). I found all this joy and peace at an incredible location–Horse of the Sun Ranch. We have been trying to schedule a visit for more than a year and I could not be more impressed. They are a program of the Armed Forces YMCA and run equine therapy programs for veterans and at-risk kids. They also have an array of family programs and horse riding lessons for kids. We spent a few days riding horses, shooting arrows and enjoying the beauty of Pine Valley!
Please check them out and make your own trip up to paradise (you can’t take my dog, but I am happy to lend you a good book)!