Sometimes we just need to give something back. No, I’m not talking about the stock market as of late, however, I can certainly see it there too. I’m talking about doing something to make the world just a little bit better.
As some of you know, our son was diagnosed with a serious mental illness 6 years ago. What my wonderful wife Gayle and I, along with our family have gone through I wouldn’t wish on anybody. We had absolutely no idea what we were going through, what was happening to our son or what lay ahead for us. Fortunately, there were people and organizations, like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to help us put it all together. We’ve had wonderful doctors, counselors and peer support there to help as well.
We learned that, while the prevalence of serious mental illness in this country is many multiples higher than I had ever imagined, the services we offer mental health consumers and their families in this country are virtually non-existent. By policy, in this country we don’t treat a mental illness until it reaches stage 4, when the patient becomes a physical threat to themselves or others. And then, in many cases the only treatment is incarceration. Meanwhile, serious mental illness is just as debilitating and has the same (or greater) devastating impact on individuals and families as those afflicted with cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Who knew?
But the worst thing associated with having a mental illness is the stigma that is attached. So much of mental illness is treatable; yet because there is such a public stigma attached to having a mental illness, few seek and receive the treatment they need.This has to stop.
In late 2014, Gayle and I formed a foundation called “Ride To Awareness” whose mission is to promote the awareness of the stigma of having a mental illness. People need to understand there’s a serious problem before we can correct it. I’ll be riding my bicycle, along with about 9 others, from San Diego to St. Augustine (over 3,000 miles!) from September 14th to approximately November 14th. We’ll be stopping in 10 major cities along the way promoting our cause to all who will listen.
Needless to say, I won’t be in the office. But you and your portfolio will be well-attended. Steve, Candy, Mia, Gary and Gary will be there taking care of everything. Truth is, I just get in their way anyway!
Additionally, our bicycle ride is supported by a 34’ motor home fully equipped with Internet. Anything I can do in my office, I can do in the RV! As riding will usually take just a few hours early in the morning, I anticipate being in contact with the office for a good chunk of each market day.
This is how my wife and I are giving back… making the world better for families afflicted with a serious mental illness. The support we’ve received pre-ride has been nothing short of amazing. Over a short period of time we’ve built a large following from all over the country and we’d love to have you follow us as well. We’ve received financial support that allows us to make it all happen from so many wonderful folks. (By the way, we are a 501c3 charity, which makes your contribution tax deductible!). Every day of the ride I’ll be blogging about the adventures we encounter, of which there will be no shortage I‘m sure, and uploading videos to our site.
So wish us luck and know that your financial planning and investment needs will remain well attended. And I’d love to see a comment from you on any of our social media or website during the ride… you have no idea how much that helps when the legs are burning, I’m tired and still have another hill to climb!
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