Blog Post: On Being 68... and becoming an Elder
February 3, 2021
Being an elder does not mean that I am retired, but it is time for me to focus less on human doing and more on human being. I am more introspective and reflective; I realize that I can’t “do it all.” I also spend more time looking for others who are younger and embrace mental health work with hope, optimism and vigor. People like Tre Gabriel below or the five new Associates I have recently added to my practice.
To that end, I am happy to share this interview with you, which may mark my first official steps into becoming an elder. It was an honor to be invited by Janine Francolini, Founder of the Flawless Foundation (FlawlessFoundation.org), to have a dialogue with their Fellow Tre Gabriel. We spoke about my involvement in mental health care since 1974. This interview also provided me time to celebrate my family as well. Tre is an inspiring young man, who truly gives me hope for the future of mental health care.
Direct link: A Flawless Talk with Virgil Stucker (Interview):
If you listen, you will also hear me celebrate my joy of becoming an elder by offering free copies of A Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery: What You Need to Know from Day One to psychiatric hospitals and units who may wish to give it to family members of their patients. (Yes, FREE!)
If you look at this page on my website: https://www.virgilstuckerandassociates.com/meet-our-team, you will also see my additional steps toward being an elder. I list 5 Associates, not people who work for me, but younger therapeutic consultants I trust. Since I cannot respond to all calls for help, I am often connecting new callers with these consultants.
As an elder, I also wish to take a minute to shine some light on Eric Levine, Executive Director at CooperRiis. Many of you know that CooperRiis was the capstone in my therapeutic community career, from which I retired in 2017. Eric is doing a fantastic job! Here is one example: https://www.cooperriis.org/asheville/ This new aspect of CooperRiis attends to individuals with higher levels of acuity and complexity.
By the way, I am not done yet! (I am only 68 and my father is an active 102-year-old).My new ideas continue. I am deeply concerned about the 8.4 million U.S. adults (average age 45) with persistent mental illness who are living isolated lives, except for the support of their increasingly vulnerable parents. I have begun to gather a group of creatives who see the need for a virtual therapeutic community for these individuals.
If the ideas I offer here are of interest, please reach out to me directly. If you have other ideas, perhaps we can discuss them on our Mental Horizons podcast. Let’s continue to connect!