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Mental Health Update

April 20, 2020
Mental Health Update

MH Update – 4/20/20 – Passing of Gayle Farman

Several weeks ago, we lost a wonderful, passionate advocate for behavioral health, developmental disabilities and health care in the passing of Gayle Farman.

It is such a shocking loss given that Gayle was the most upbeat, compassionate, thoughtful person you could ever meet. In the over twenty years I knew Gayle, I never remember a time when she was not smiling or saying something positive about people.

I first met Gayle years ago when I was Director of NAMI and she was the Director of NYS Council for Community Behavioral Health Care. When we first met, I could not believe that someone so nice and friendly on the surface could be so genuine but that was exactly who she was throughout the years. After she left the Council, she worked with various colleagues in the community including the NYS Rehab Association and the NY Association for Substance Use Providers. Most recently of course, she was the creator of the Passport for Good, the software created for students and businesses to track community service hours.

This last project was typical of Gayle combining her intelligence, marketing skills and her great belief in giving back to the community.

Gayle was one of those rare people who just cared so deeply about people and beliefs in fostering a positive belief in the goodness of people. She was also the ultimate one degree of separation person—everyone knew Gayle or knew someone who knew her. She was beloved everywhere whether through her work, her community involvement, her synagogue or through her personal life.

She touched so many lives in a positive way. What I am writing could be written by countless people touched by her and her incredible family of Pete, Emma and Katie.

It is hard for many of us to believe that we will not see that smiling face and wonderful spirit but her legacy of great work and compassion for others will live on through all the countless people she has touched in her life. I am honored that my family is among the many people she touched. She will be greatly missed by so many of us.