Open Letter to See Spring Mental Wellness Coalition
I am sharing this open letter (see PDF below for full text of letter) to See Spring Wellness since I have received no reply to my private correspondence with the organization’s board of directors and founders.
After volunteering my time and expertise, to the organization in many ways, in my role as an autistic disability advisor I was terminated from that board in a secret meeting (despite having my work and contributions praised by many board members regularly leading up to this meeting) on June 6th, 2020 with an unsigned letter sent via email (see PDF at the bottom of this page). The reason given was - a perceived conflict, that I was not aware of, without a chance to discuss the issues or to clarify, or any conflict resolution process.
I am autistic. I communicate differently than allistic (neurotypical) people, and this can lead to misunderstandings. I had thought that an organization with the mission to “create healthy and supportive safe spaces for all” would show understanding and keep me safe. Instead, my interactions with this organization caused me to have a mental health crisis.
I am now making this letter public as I am concerned that an organization with the mandate of mental wellness is indeed acting in ways that were harmful to me as an autistic person and I do not want the same to happen to others.
See Spring has taken away my hope for a community that I can be part of and to be in a space where I and other marginalized people can find cultural safety and cultural humility, which is something they ascribe to but don’t practice.
It has also come to my attention that other board members, including Indigenous advisors, resigned from the board shortly after I was dismissed. The difficulties I had with the board and founders of See Spring Wellness are not isolated.
It is most concerning that the organization aims to serve, and in the future employ, people who are from vulnerable and marginalized communities. They are also seeking volunteers, donors and funders, who should be aware of how See Spring Wellness operated.