Dear Gentlemen in a Pizza Shop,
The three of you openly discussed some very tough topics. You must be good friends. I sat down in the next booth, rushing from one meeting to another, to quickly eat my lunch. As I scrolled through social media sites on my phone, I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. You shared struggles so raw and challenging as if they were any other lunchtime chat. I write not knowing your names, and wishing I had said thank you.
You talked about your reluctance to accept a prescription for pain medication because you know it is an addictive opioid and you know your son or daughter might find it in the cabinet. You talked about your daughter’s eating disorder, and how you wish you had the words to comfort her — to help her get well.
I work every day to solve challenges like these. My organization invests funds in Lancaster County to improve children’s health and strengthen the capacity of healthcare professionals. In this work, we often discuss the stigma surrounding topics like substance abuse and eating disorders. Yet here I was, listening to you talk about these tough issues because you clearly love your children.
So this Father’s Day, I want to thank you and all the fathers like you who aren’t afraid to talk about mental and behavioral health. To learn more about our organization, please visit www.lohf.org.
– Anna Kennedy
Executive Director, LOHF