As my sixth Mental Health Awareness month with LACDMH comes to a close, I had hoped to focus on our work together and share my deep support for Dr. Lisa Wong who has been appointed as Acting Director by the Board of Supervisors. And while there have been numerous accomplishments for us to celebrate and while Lisa is absolutely the right person to take the baton, I cannot communicate in my most authentic voice about anything other than recent events in this country that are tearing us apart as individuals and disconnecting us as a people.
The entirely horrific loss of life to gun violence in Uvalde, Buffalo, and Laguna Woods in the past few weeks as well as the string of tragedies before them literally shake our collective humanity and morality to the core. These ignorant, hate-driven events traumatize individuals, neighborhoods, regions, and our nation as a whole, leaving in their wake broken families, enraged communities, and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness in our society.
It is critical that we continue to message and act upon the need for each of us to connect with each other in both our personal and professional lives. We, the Department of Mental Health, must see and reinforce our role as a beacon of hope inside and outside the county. While I am retiring from my position as Director of LACDMH in the weeks to come, I will always commit myself to keep carrying the connectedness torch forever. With this in mind please take advantage of the resources we have made available and please share them widely with your colleagues, clients, families, friends, and communities.
I will send another communication about our work together over these past five-plus years at some point next month and look forward to delivering my send-off message that will be followed by a very informal reception coming up on June 10. Please tune in or reach out to me in whatever way you would like. I will make my post-county contact information available for anyone who’d like to stay in touch.
Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Los Angeles County
Department of Mental Health
Read previous Messages from the Director in our “Connecting Our Community” newsletter archive
Last Updated: 05/27/22