FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Doyle Forrestal, CEO of the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, releases the following statement on the death of George Floyd and events unfolding in Minneapolis and across the country:
During these challenging times, it can be difficult to put thoughts and feelings into words. Especially now when so many people and organizations have put their words out for the world to read and have committed to the values, we all hope to embody, it is hard to know where to add our voice. And yet, we at CBHC feel compelled to speak up. Because, in the words of holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”
In 1963, Americans refused to be silent for two causes whose histories are intertwined and whose aims are shared. Coming just two months apart, the March on Washington catapulted the civil rights movement forward and the community mental health movement was enshrined into law with President Kennedy’s signing of the Community Mental Health Act. Both movements sought to end systemic discrimination and segregation, to gain equal rights, just treatment, and to ensure the same basic safety and freedoms that other white and privileged Americans enjoyed. Unfortunately for both movements, as with other movements for marginalized communities seeking civil rights and equal protection under the law, the fight is not over.
Sometimes we must interfere.
I repeat these words because they signify action. That is what CBHC commits to you: to actively listen, to engage, to speak up, and to act. Together, we stand with our local, state, and national leaders who aspire for change, who have the courage to stand up to fight for The Dream – with those who, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
We can’t do this alone, and you are not alone. We stand with all of you to implement real change and we will join with others who seek accountability for policy and people who challenge the rights of all people to be free and live without fear.
If you find yourself in need of support during these stressful times, help is available at any of the 17 Community Mental Health Centers across the state. You can find your local provider at our website, www.cbhc.org/help . If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call this toll-free number, 1-844-493-8255, to speak to a trained professional.
Since 1967, the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (CBHC) has served as the membership association for Colorado’s statewide system of community behavioral health organizations. CBHC member organizations are the backbone of Colorado’s public behavioral health safety net, working to ensure all Coloradoans have access to quality, community-based mental health and substance use disorder services tailored to the unique needs and strengths of each community. CBHC member organizations include Colorado’s Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), Managed Service Organizations (MSOs), and two specialty clinics – Asian Pacific Development Center and Servicios de La Raza.