Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association
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Dear PRA Members and Foundation Supporters,
Last week the most contentious, divisive campaign for a President in our lifetime came to an end. The results were upsetting to many, if not most of us, and we are sure many of you are still trying to process what it might mean for those of us committed to recovery and a full life in our communities.
Over the course of the election season there were many hurtful and hate-filled comments and sentiments directed towards members of communities and groups that have been marginalized over the course of history: women, Latin, Muslim, Black, Jewish, indigenous, LGBTQ+ people, veterans, people with disabilities, and immigrants and refugees. People who identify with these groups report feeling “othered” and marginalized by a political environment that invoked fear, hopelessness and, at times, violence.
It is critical at this time to take care of ourselves and each other. The distress caused by such a sustained campaign of disrespectful rhetoric combined with the outcome of an election that will change the direction of many policies, regulations and legislation may be a frightening thought to many of you. We want to acknowledge the negative realities of how the results of the election might impact our work in the future. The Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010 has provided healthcare access to millions of people over the past few years. It also enabled substantial growth for our organizations through Medicaid expansion. These policies and rights that promote individual and community wellness will likely change and while we do not have all the answers or understand the full impact at this time, we remain hopeful for the future.
PRA remains steadfast in its commitment to advocate fiercely with our partners at the federal level to ensure coverage for all vulnerable populations; but especially those with lived experiences and mental health conditions. We believe in the core principles of the recovery movement; especially those of hope, resilience and well-being. Our association has made a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. We are a dynamic, affirming organization for people of all experiences and background. No matter who you voted for we urge you to share your compassion, as there are fellow Americans who are understandably feeling more vulnerable and anxious than ever before.
This is a critical time in our democratic history and lifetimes. More than ever before we must stand together for inclusiveness and social justice, while strongly advocating the vision of a nation that respects, protects and cares for all its citizens and residents; especially the most vulnerable. Please know that we will stand engaged and energized to ensure that people in recovery are respected, empowered and assured the rights and benefits of full citizenship.
With great respect,
Roy and Dori