Calmer Choice, non-profit organization in Barnstable, Massachusetts Calmer Choice, non-profit organization in Barnstable, Massachusetts

Reflections from a Founder in Transition: A Message from Fiona Jensen

Reading the paper this last month I found articles about how the amount of alcohol that people have been consuming in this last year is on the rise. Children are having an increased issue with falling asleep and staying asleep at night. The number of children experiencing anxiety, depression, and self-harm has risen at astonishing rates in the last 12 months. Increases in overdose rates and a significant number of relapses.

This is all devasting news and yet not surprised considering what the world has been navigating.

Overall, the mental health of this planet is in trouble.

As I begin the process of handing over the reins of this most amazing organization, I am keenly aware that mindfulness and all that goes along with it around self-care, being in the present moment, taking care of ourselves and each other with kindness - all of this is more important than ever.

Since we started Calmer Choice I’ve found myself repeating this phrase often, “now more than ever.” Each time it comes out of my mouth I find myself hoping that next year, or maybe the one after, that it will be different.

At Calmer Choice, one of the many things we teach people is to build a personal gratitude practice as a resilience and perspective-building skill. My own gratitude practice has allowed me to manage this bittersweet transition into retirement and lately, I’ve focused my gratitude on Calmer Choice being so very perfectly positioned to be able to make a difference – now more than ever.

We have the experience, the evidence-based curriculum, the infrastructure, and capacity to actually make an impact. For kids and teachers in schools, for front-line workers, for adults navigating the increased pressures of modern-day life and so many others that may be struggling as we learn to navigate what might be the “new normal.”

In a way, it may seem like a strange time for me to be leaving and yet, it is the absolute perfect time. I will be handing the reigns over to somebody with a lot more experience in bringing organizations to scale to be able to help even more people. Now is certainly NOT the time to stop rowing the boat. It is just time that I introduce a new captain and experienced crew!

For anyone wanting information about the work that we do with children, teachers, and community members, please reach out and we can see if we can support your staff, your caregivers, and your kids.

Self-care and the wellness of ourselves and those we love is up there as the most important thing for us to take care of this year for without our own mental health and that of our loved ones there's not a whole lot of other important work that we can do.

Much LOVE to all of you. I will be here to answer questions, grab a cup of coffee and maybe chat on the phone for the next few months. I especially hope to get to say farewell and thank you for all your support in person. PLEASE do not hesitate to reach out!