The virtual event, held on World Mental Health Day, brought together community members and honored client voices and stories
Compass Health’s Building Communities of Hope Gala raised more than $165,000 in support of the organization’s child, youth and family behavioral health services during a virtual event held on World Mental Health Day, Saturday, October 10, 2020.
Funds exceeded Compass Health’s goals by $15,000, as more than 250 community members gathered virtually to celebrate client voices and stories, even forming socially distant “watch parties” while the event was streamed online. Organizers attribute the support, in part, to a greater recognition of the need for behavioral health resources as the community faces the impacts of COVID-19.
“We know that this year has been demanding in many ways – in fact, the pandemic has exacerbated the medical, educational, economic and social challenges that many of our families face – making community support more crucial than ever,” said Tom Sebastian, president and CEO of Compass Health. “It was thrilling and gratifying to see our community come together, and to watch our team innovate to create a meaningful shared experience while keeping everyone safe through a virtual format.”
One of the evening’s highlights included a video presentation led by Amanda, a Compass Health team member, and her son, who was a client of Compass Health’s WISe youth wraparound services. The video revealed that Amanda was so inspired by the treatment and care that her son received, that she joined the organization as a parent partner with WISe almost two years ago. During the video, Amanda and her son also shared how Compass Health has helped them navigate changes and develop important communication and coping skills.
“It was amazing to see the impact of sharing our story,” Amanda said. “As a parent partner, I know how important it is to destigmatize mental health, and the response to the video has been overwhelming. I’m particularly proud of my son, who really wanted to share with others that they’re not alone, and that Compass Health has been such a positive force in his life.”
Presented in part by Kaiser Permanente, First Interstate Bank, Genoa Healthcare and Integrated Telehealth Solutions, this year’s fundraiser benefits Compass Heath’s child, youth and family services. The primary beneficiaries are Compass Health’s Child and Family Outpatient Programs, Children’s Intensive Services / Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe), Camp Outside the Box, Camp Mariposa, Child Advocacy Program (CAP), and Compass Health’s Therapeutic Foster Care Program.
The robust list of programs supported by this year’s Gala exemplifies the range of services offered by the 118-year-old organization. With a focus on providing a full spectrum of accessible care, Compass Health’s child, family and youth programs are designed to promote positive changes in behavior, help the child and family learn appropriate coping skills, and improve communication skills including learning to resolve conflict and manage emotions in a healthy manner. In addition to honoring the family voice and choice, clinical services such as the Child Advocacy Program offer specially trained therapists who utilize evidence-based treatment to address long-term conditions that often result from abuse or trauma.
“We serve more than 5,400 children and families throughout our five-county region, and we’re well aware that some of these families are navigating everything from childcare and job loss to food insecurity,” said Tom Kozaczynski, chief development and communications officer at Compass Health. “It’s so important that we maintain these services during times of crisis and uncertainty, and to see our community rise up in support of those in need was a humbling experience.”
Kozaczynski’s team typically hosts the Building Communities of Hope Gala in person, but this year they pivoted, working diligently to create an evening with multiple virtual touchpoints to engage with Compass Health’s mission. The Gala was streamed live on YouTube with music from Seattle jazz ensemble Ambience, to accompany a silent auction. The event featured longtime emcee Ron Hippe, Amanda and her son’s story, a word from Sebastian, a raise-the-paddle donation opportunity and a two-item live auction. Those interested can find additional opportunities to support Compass Health at https://www.compasshealth.org/donate/.
“Though we weren’t together in person this year, the positive response to the virtual Gala truly affirmed that Compass Health is an essential part of the community safety net,” Sebastian said. “I’m encouraged by our community’s response and know that with their support, we can play an incredible role in advocating for whole person health.”
To learn more about Compass Health or how you can support Compass Health’s child, youth and family services, please visit www.compasshealth.org.
About Compass Health:
Compass Health is Northwest Washington’s behavioral healthcare leader. The organization integrates behavioral health and medical care services to support clients and communities when and where they are needed. Building on a century of experience, Compass Health is forging new, nationally recognized models of care that bring together highly skilled mental health professionals, primary care providers, peer counselors and others to treat the whole person. From comprehensive mental health treatment to crisis intervention, children’s services and community education, Compass Health serves people of all ages throughout Snohomish, Skagit, Island, San Juan and Whatcom counties.
Learn more: www.compasshealth.org
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