As we gear up for a new round of activities to commemorate the original Journey for Life campaign for mental health advocacy, it seems very fitting that former First Lady Rosalynn Carter was able to visit with us last week. A tireless mental health advocate at both the state and national level, Mrs. Carter supposed our original efforts and even wrote the forward to Rudy Hayes’ first-hand account of the 1,000-mile walk to Chicago on behalf of mental health awareness.
During the visit, Stuart, Rudy, and Mrs. Carter met again to tour the new campus of the center. While she had visited our previous site, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to show her how we have grown and to catch her up on our current efforts in wellness and recovery. Mrs. Carter was provided with a tour of our educational building, market, and even our weight room and sauna! As you might imagine, both the peer members and staff were abuzz with excitement about her visit, and many thanked her personally for all her efforts for mental health.
In addition to a host of other presents and mementos, Mrs. Carter was presented with a market basket of Georgia grown tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and butterbeans. (With her own roots in Georgia agriculture, we know she can appreciate our promotion of local produce!)
Thank you, Mrs. Carter, for all you have done to raise the nation’s awareness about mental illness. We only hope our own efforts can honor your hometown county’s legacy.