EVERETT, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Compass Health is proud to present keynote speaker, Delaney Ruston, MD, at its fifth-annual Building Communities of Hope Gala fundraiser on October 16, 2021, at 6 p.m. Ruston will speak about the importance of families finding their voices in sharing challenges and experiences with mental health needs.
The event will be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook, and proceeds from the evening’s Gala will support Compass Health’s child, youth and family services. Registration is free, and community members are invited to RSVP at compasshealth.org/bcoh/.
“With ongoing challenges across our communities, demand for our youth and child behavioral health services is as strong as ever – and support for our Gala is as critical as ever. This past year, our programs served more than 5,400 children and youth across Northwest Washington, ranging from in-person, socially distanced opportunities to sessions via telehealth platforms,” said Tom Sebastian, president and CEO of Compass Health. “Dr. Ruston’s perspective on giving voice to mental health needs and resources will resonate with those who share our mission of reducing stigma so that we can fully support whole person health. We are proud to feature a speaker of her caliber.”
Ruston’s keynote, The Gift of Sharing Our Truths, will explore why being open about youth mental health challenges has traditionally been viewed as taboo, how overcoming the unmentionable is vital for scaling support, and how giving a voice to youth struggles will benefit them in life-changing ways. The talk will also include Ruston’s personal story helping her own daughter navigate depression and growing up with a father who experienced schizophrenia.
A recognized expert on the topic of youth mental health challenges, Dr. Ruston is the creator of the award-winning documentary, Screenagers, a film that delves into solutions for healthy screen time, and Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER, which goes deeper into improving the emotional wellbeing of today’s young population. Around 4.5 million kids and adults have gathered for screenings in 85 countries.
“The mental health stigma that exists in our society is a pervasive barrier that prevents individuals from seeking mental health care. Parents face countless challenges when it comes to parenting, and as children grow, those challenges grow with them,” said Dr. Ruston. “Fortunately, times are changing, and today’s youth are becoming more acclimated to discussions about mental health, and as adults we owe it to them to be the advocates, to start the conversations and stay engaged in order to guide them to incredible resources like Compass Health.”
The Gala fundraiser supports a host of Compass Health’s resources for children, youth and families, including the non-profit behavioral health agency’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 COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for us all, and those challenges are significant for families who continue to navigate childcare and school systems, which is why it’s important that we maintain these services during such an unprecedented time,” said Sebastian. “I am always in awe of the resilience of our community and the willingness to rally together and support and uplift one another, and I’m looking forward to celebrating whole person health and honoring the community that we serve.”
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 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.
“This night promises to be inspiring and filled with joy, and I am very much looking forward to sharing this moment with our community,” said Tom Kozaczynski, chief advancement officer at Compass Health. “As we face the challenges of the ongoing pandemic as a frontline behavioral health provider, we recognize the importance of our youth and family services programs. The Gala provides a key opportunity for our community to respond and assist families in need.”
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. A community-based healthcare agency, Compass Health integrates behavioral health and medical care services to form a key section of the community safety net and serve clients and others in need of care and support. From comprehensive mental health treatment to crisis prevention and intervention, supportive housing, children’s services, community education and much more, the non-profit organization serves people of all ages throughout Snohomish, Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Whatcom counties.