A message from Brad Reedy, Ph.D., Owner and Executive Clinical Director of Evoke Therapy Programs
With the election season upon us, my Evoke partners and I asked ourselves, “Besides casting our own ballots, what else could we do to make a difference?” We believe that participation in society, specifically in our democracy through the sacred act of voting, is an integral part of clients’ and employee’s whole health. Regardless of one’s ideology or political views, it is clear that electing government leaders can have a dramatic and practical impact on many issues affecting our mental health and quality of life. With this in mind, we created several initiatives to encourage and ensure that every employee and eligible client has the support, time, and resources to vote in the 2020 general election.
With this as our foundation, we launched and implemented the following initiatives:
- Every employee would be encouraged to vote and would be provided the information and resources (i.e., computer) to register and vote, while getting paid “on-the clock.” We would offer guidance and support to encourage employees to have a voting plan.
- While our company operates in states that primarily use mail-in voting, any employee choosing to volunteer at polling sites would be paid for their time.
- As the voting registration approached, we provided support for eligible clients to register and vote. This support included the use of computers and any material requested for educating individuals regarding candidates or any other initiatives on their ballot.
- We have shared these initiatives in the hopes that other wilderness and therapeutic programs will invest the same kind of energy into making sure that all employees and eligible clients are able to vote.
As most know, more than 100 million eligible voters sat out of the last general election. In the years since, we have witnessed rising awareness and enthusiasm from the electorate, specifically our young people, on many of the issues affecting our country and the world. And while our therapeutic work is a-political, our shared interest in making the world a better place begs us all to do our part. We cannot compartmentalize our mental health issues from our citizenship in society—they are inextricably linked. They are part of the same whole that make us human and we believe that this places a responsibility on those of us in the treatment field to lead, teach, and model participation in our democracy. It is with these values in mind we have taken these initiatives and invite others in leadership to do the same.