EVERETT –This week, Compass Health’s Building Communities of Hope Gala raised more than $288,000 to support hundreds of youth whose lives have been impacted by behavioral health challenges and family substance use disorders.
More than 520 community members attended the event on Saturday, September 28, 2019, surpassing attendance and fundraising goals for the third consecutive year. Organizers attribute the momentum, in part, to a greater recognition of the role that behavioral healthcare plays in addressing challenges at the community level, and its ability to support whole person health.
Funds will support two of Compass Health’s most transformational youth programs: Camp Outside the Box and Camp Mariposa. The camps help youth who face significant personal behavioral health challenges and family chemical dependency issues by providing therapeutic learning opportunities in a fun, traditional camp setting. Compass Health unveiled a new video at the event, which illustrates the power of the programs to help children and teens make connections, learn skills to cope and, ultimately, to thrive.
“The youth and families we serve are going through very human experiences, and thanks to our community’s generosity and the incredible work of our dedicated Compass Health team, we are helping them get the care they need and letting them know that they are not alone,” said Tom Sebastian, president and chief executive officer for Compass Health. “Together we are changing lives.”
The event, presented by Coast Property Management and the Martyn Family Foundation, featured TED speaker, comedian and mental health advocate, Bill Bernat, as the keynote speaker. Bernat used comedy and storytelling to deliver an inspirational talk that married his personal story with the innovative approach of Compass Health’s youth services. A recovering addict living with bipolar condition, Bill discussed his own mental health struggles as a child and highlighted the importance of early intervention and outreach.
“When I first met Bill at TEDxSnoIsleLibraries, I knew that his singular ability to use humor to open minds and conversations around mental health issues was an ideal fit for our Compass Health community,” said Sebastian, who presented at the TEDx event along with Bernat in 2017. “There’s no doubt that the power of his message was instrumental in making this year’s Gala such a special and successful night.”
For more than a century, Compass Health has served youth in Northwest Washington communities, demonstrating a continued commitment to its youth mental health programs. The two programs that benefitted from the gala are led by mental health professionals and counselors from Compass Health and administered through Compass Health’s Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe) program.
More than 160 youth from the WISe program participate in Compass Health’s Camp Outside the Box, which complements individuals’ ongoing treatment plans and help campers with peer relationship building, communication-skills, pro-social behaviors and self-esteem.
Camp Mariposa is a national addiction prevention and mentoring program serving youth that have been impacted by substance abuse in their families. Held in partnership with the Eluna Network, this free program offers traditional camp activities combined with educational exercises led by trained mentors. Additional mentoring services and support activities are available to youth, teens and their families year-round.
“Now, more than ever, our community is making mental health a priority and are coming together to make sure the next generation has the tools they need to live happy, purpose-driven lives,” said Tom Kozaczynski, chief development and communications officer for Compass Health. “In just three years, Compass Health’s Building Communities of Hope Gala has grown by 82%, and it is because of our communities’ continued support that we have been able to broaden our reach across Northwest Washington and make a difference in the lives of hundreds of youth and their families.”
To learn more about Compass Health or how you can support Compass Health’s youth services, please visit www.compasshealth.org.