February 28, 2023

A ‘Mother Teresa’ State of Mind
By Ebonye J. Dickens, LMHC, NCC

As we go into the last month, in the first quarter of 2023, I am reminded of what this season often represents for me. The start of anew. In the U.S., March is often correlated with the beginning of Spring. The weather is typically warmer. We get an additional hour of natural daylight in our afternoons. Some of us do ‘Spring Cleaning,’ some celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and some have other religious observances such as prayer and fasting during this time. Whatever the cause, it is usually the time of year that I personally become more active. As I kick into gear, I am reminded of why we do what we do. Mother Teresa is credited for rewriting Dr. Kent Keith’s work, The Paradoxical Commandments. Many of us narrowed her wise teachings down to simply, ‘Do IT anyway!’ Here are a couple of ways we are doing it anyway.

March serves as Intellectual (Developmental) Disabilities Awareness Month. Did you know that at least one-third of sex trafficking cases in Florida involved girls with intellectual disability disorders (ID)? Some of the clients we serve have ID and that often deters them from making the progress they desire. We help them do the work anyway!
March 1st is Self-Injury Awareness Day. Did you know that self-harm is prevalent among individuals who have been trafficked? This is one of the many reasons increased access to services, assessment, and treatment by mental health professionals play a critical role in providing support to Survivors. Self-harm may cause setbacks in treatment and can be scary, but we help those clients anyway!

March is National Social Work Month, Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day is March 8th this year! In honor of those important dates and the important work we do, I would like to take a moment to celebrate the many active women and men that support our organization. Receiving public support means the world to us because it helps to provide vital services to our community. We know there are many other efforts individuals could dedicate their time, talent, and money to, but you give to us anyway!
At the top of the list of those with a ‘Mother Teresa’ state of mind is Marcie Rey Landreth, our Executive Director and Founder. Marcie is constantly working and advocating to ensure the rights of women and girls in our community are respected and that there is meaningful attention brought to the subject of Human Trafficking and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.
May this month in all its newness inspire you to do what is in your heart. Chase your dreams, live out your passions, and when the challenge presents itself, remind yourself to ‘Do IT anyway!’