By Rev. Alvin Herring, Faith In Action Executive Director

I have been reflecting on the loss of Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade and the countless others who have died by suicide. While these celebrities seemingly had it all, no one knows what occurs behind closed doors. I know Kate and Anthony, God rest their souls, are far removed from us, but I want to take this opportunity to let you know that you are seen and appreciated, and that you are loved and needed.

There is no question that the work of an activist and organizer is hard, but we are buoyed by the creator of the universe. In fighting for others, we can sometimes lose sight of the importance of fighting for ourselves. As we fight to ensure that communities of color, persons living in poverty and marginalized individuals and families are seen, heard and respected, we must also focus on our own needs.

As executive director, I want to take this opportunity to tell you that we must prioritize our health and well-being. Invest in yourselves just as you invest in our work and in others. When you care for yourself, you ensure your long-term sustainability, and that’s what our movement needs now more than ever.

As we aspire to unite people of faith and those who aren’t religiously affiliated, we must seize this moment. We know that depression can be caused by a host of factors such as a family history of mental illness, a chemical imbalance, stress, sleep deprivation, loss of a loved one, isolation and so much more. Depression can also be caused or exacerbated by a sense of not belonging. Should you need support, please reach out to a trusted friend, loved one or colleague. Your highest and healthiest self is a gift you give to yourself as well as to others. Let’s do all we can to be a community for one another.

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