Reflections on the Past Year

September 14, 2020

We recently wrapped up our fiscal year and are now preparing for our annual report. When I think back over the past year, it’s hard to remember much of anything that happened prior to March. Our lives have changed so much since then. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been about six months since the stay-at-home order went into effect in Kansas City.

When I think about what March was like, I can’t help but remember how quickly everything changed. There were days when our executive team would decide on a plan of action in the morning and by the end of the day, that plan had already changed several times. We all had to be fluid and willing to adapt at a moment’s notice.

As I reflect back on what has happened and what we’ve learned over the past year, two words stand out to me: resilience and compassion. These two traits have propelled our organization and our community forward during a time when it would have been easy to give in and dwell on the negative. In the past six months, I’ve seen the Wyandotte County community show compassion and tap into their resilience. I’m proud to say I’ve seen those same traits emerge in how our staff across Wyandot Behavioral Health Network responded to the pandemic.

When 2020 began, we were not anticipating having to switch to telehealth overnight. But that is exactly what happened. Our staff didn’t let that abrupt change stop them. They tapped into their resilience and came back stronger, more creative and more determined to find a way to keep serving our community.

I’ve also been inspired by the compassionate responses I’ve seen from our staff during the pandemic. They’ve gone beyond just meeting the mental health needs of those we serve. At PACES, staff collaborated with Catholic Charities to secure donations of food for families who might otherwise have gone without. When COVID-19 forced Frank Williams Outreach Center to close its doors, the team at Frank’s found a way to bring in a mobile shower trailer so individuals who are homeless could have a safe, clean place to shower. These are just two of the many ways our staff responded with compassion during the pandemic.

I know we’re all dealing with the wear and tear from a difficult past few months. If you’re feeling tired and drained, you are certainly not alone. As we move forward and settle into our new abnormal, I encourage you to rely on resilience and compassion. They’ve gotten us this far. And I believe they are the keys to success in the weeks and months to come.