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Some Thoughts on 2022 . . .

I am so proud to share that this year has continued to be a busy one for the Cypress Resilience Project. Since our founding, we have certified 3159 people in Mental Health First Aid and trained 13,809 in trauma informed practices and grief support skills. This year alone we certified 1270 people in MHFA! Phew, that’s a lot of time on Zoom.

But that only tells a part of the story. The impact of those workshops can sometimes be quantified and sometimes it cannot. We know 89% of people who attended our trainings found them important and very helpful to them – professionally and personally. And our instructors have an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 – so we know that it’s not just about what we do here, but how we do it that matters. But we also hear from folks all of the time – telling us a story of how a workshop helped them support someone, ask for help themselves or sometimes even saved a life. Those moments mean the world to us.

And we’ve been challenged. This year we opened up our MHFA trainings to mono-lingual Spanish speakers for the first time. And we learned how to deliver MHFA training to folks experiencing low-vision and blindness in an online format. Our learning curve continues to grow and we love the challenges that serving new communities bring to us.

We’ve added new partnerships – working with community based organizations supporting high need communities, working with professionals at all levels to deal with burn-out, and new work that is focused on supporting refugees. There’s also new work ahead in 2023 supporting those affected by Hurricane Ian in Florida.

Our Cypress team continues to grow as well. We are joyful that Karina is in graduate school getting her MSW, Urayah joined us as our Training Coordinator, and Precious has come on board as a MHFA trainer and supporter of our data collection. New folks will be joining us soon and we can’t wait to introduce them to you. This is an exciting time in our growth as a program.

This year our team is taking some time to reflect on everything we have accomplished and navigated in 2022. The celebrations and the challenges are present in our minds.

But we are also looking ahead. We know the need for mental health trainings and support is growing. We know too well the trauma and grief that so many are experiencing. Our team has accepted the call to help and as we rest and get ready for another busy year – I want to say thank you.

Thank you to the AMAZING Cypress team for your passion, dedication and empathy. You have helped so many people this year and your commitment to building safe spaces for others to feel relief from suffering humbles me. I am so grateful to work with each of you.

And thank you to all of you reading this - for your continued support and for the encouragement you give our team. We know we couldn’t do this important work without you.

2022 has been a busy year. 2023 will be as well. But I know together, we have a strength and resilience to manage whatever comes that we do not have when we try to do this alone. The Cypress community is growing – and we can’t wait to share more with you in the coming year!

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