A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran to discuss the recent release of the Multnomah County Mental Health System Analysis. If you haven’t had a chance to learn about it, you can watch a presentation of the report by clicking here.
You may be thinking while reading this, “Burgers and mental health? What’s the connection?” At Burgerville we know that our ability to thrive is forever linked to our community’s ability to thrive. The two cannot be separated. It’s impossible to be part of the community and not notice that our community is struggling. Rising rates of addiction and suicide, homelessness, bullying, these issues are all part of our community experience now. There is not a person who works at Burgerville or visits Burgerville or who has heard about Burgerville who has not been touched by one of these concerns.
Burgerville has quite a few young employees. Commissioner Meieran shared that high school students were recently asked, “What do you need in order to thrive?” They responded, “Mental health services.” And no wonder. Our youth are growing up in a community where they are seeing that our lack of connection, lack of purpose, and lack of resources are changing who we are together. They are looking for ways to navigate a confusing and complex world.
At Burgerville we believe that a thriving future will come from our ability to welcome our newest arrivals as a whole and healthy community. It will take all of us to make this happen. And it is why we are offering our support to Commissioner Meieran’s initiative to adopt a shared vision for the mental health system that cohesively meets the needs of those who are trying to use it.