It all started with a test:
“Your childrens’ blood is positive for lead exposure. The test is definitely picking up on something in their environment, but we can’t tell you where to find it, only that it’s there. Here’s the county health department’s number, and we’ll draw their blood again in 1 year.” Hearing those words from the pediatrician hit like a ton of bricks. How did this happen? How long has the lead been in their system? What do I do now?
That wasn’t a story: it’s exactly what happened to a neuropsychologist and education professor and their five small children, who lived in a historic neighborhood in an older city, where neurotoxins like lead are more prevalent in the air, soil, and water supply. She had done hundreds of neuropsych assessments over her career to diagnose ADHD, neurodevelopmental disorders, low IQ, and problems with memory, learning, and emotion regulation; he had studied all there is to know about learning disorders and school achievement barriers. But a known risk for those diagnoses (environmental neurotoxins) became very personal that day. Even with two Phds between these two parents, they felt helpless, guilty, and scared. They took action immediately, and fortunately all their children’s results dropped to undetectable levels. But they didn’t want another parent to feel alone in their journey to protect their children from environmental hazards and foster lifelong neuropsych health. And in so doing, Healthy Minds and Journeys was born.
Parents and caregivers all over the country have similar stories, and often feel any number of valid responses: confusion, feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and more. And it’s not just lead: exposure to environmental neurotoxins like air pollution, mold, pesticides, and VOCs are all well-documented hazards. But when it happens to you, it’s normal to feel alone, or that there’s not enough being done in the world to fix these problems–or not quickly enough for your precious loved ones.
That’s why HMJ was founded: to be the change we wish to see in the world, our state, our county, and city.