As we approach Thanksgiving, I find myself reflecting on a year filled with immense gratitude for the progress that we’ve made, but also a renewed determination to do even more. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the publication of Brain Energy, a journey that has been nothing short of transformative for me.
The enthusiastic support I have received since the book’s release has been overwhelming. Podcasters, journalists, clinicians, researchers, individuals battling mental health conditions, and their families have all embraced the concepts and strategies outlined in Brain Energy. Their stories of hope, resilience, and recovery are a constant source of inspiration and a reminder of why this work is so crucial.
I am profoundly thankful to the many philanthropists who have invested in this work. The Baszucki family’s generous contributions, along with others who will soon be named, have been pivotal. Their support has fueled research with tens of millions of dollars, igniting enthusiasm throughout the mental health and neuroscience fields. This growing momentum is a testament to the collective desire for breakthroughs in understanding and treating mental health conditions.
Equally touching have been the contributions from everyday people. Gifts ranging from $5 to $10,000 have poured in, each one a powerful statement of trust and belief in the potential of this work. These donations, big and small, are the lifeblood of ongoing research, education, and advocacy.
I also want to express my gratitude to all the Brain Energy volunteers, offering their time, expertise, and hard work to write articles, educate others, raise awareness, and start a grassroots movement. Their unwavering commitment to this cause is the backbone of our progress. Together, we are bound by a common goal: to improve the lives of those with chronic mental illnesses and to offer them better, more effective treatments.
In addition to these amazing successes, I can’t help but also reflect on the heartbreaking stories and events of the past year. Almost daily, I receive emails and messages from people around the world begging for help. These people want access to more effective treatments for themselves or their loved ones but can’t find clinicians able to offer them.
I know people who have lost loved ones to suicide, ineffective mental health treatments, and in some cases, mental health treatments that may have caused or contributed to people’s deaths.
These stories keep the fire lit in me. We have so much work to do.
As we mark the one-year anniversary of Brain Energy, I am filled with an emboldened determination to continue this work. The journey we have embarked upon has been challenging, yet the strides we’ve made in just a year are remarkable. We stand united in our mission, driven by the belief that everyone deserves access to effective mental health care.
This Thanksgiving, let’s celebrate the spirit of community and shared purpose that makes all this possible. Here’s to a future where mental health is not just a hope but a reality for all.
Christopher Palmer, MD received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine. He did his internship and psychiatry residency at McLean Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School. He is currently the Director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at McLean Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
For the past 25 years, he has been an academic physician with administrative, research, educational, and clinical roles.