On Sunday, October 28, 2018, Minding Your Mind celebrated with friends, family, and supporters at our 11th Anniversary Blue Gene Gala. It was a wonderful evening, full of reunions, new connections, and inspiring presentations from our award winners and Minding Your Mind Young Adult Speakers.
Gerry Cuddy, president and CEO of Beneficial Bank, generously served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. Minding Your Mind honored honor members of our community and recognize the contributions they have made to advancing awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention.
Caroline O’Halloran, founding editor and publisher of SAVVY Main Line, received the 2018 Media Advocate Award. Her thoughtful and honest coverage of mental health issues and the opioid crisis along the Main Line has raised awareness and given hope to families who previously felt as if they were alone in their experiences. Trish Larsen, executive director of Minding Your Mind, said, “Through her honest, forthright, personal, and compelling reporting, she has positioned SAVVY Main Line as a leading voice in raising awareness of the opioid epidemic and its impact on the region, as well as promoting frank conversations about mental health. She has educating our community about bullying, gender identity, and suicide by giving our neighbors a voice and an audience, and we are incredibly grateful to have her as an ally and an advocate.”
The Sefcik Family received the 2018 Changing Minds Award for their tireless efforts to support families who have someone living with depression and raising awareness about suicide. When presenting their award, Larsen shared, “After losing [their son] T.J. to suicide…they became open in talking about what they experienced with T.J in the hopes of helping other families. Wendy and Steve along with their son Matt, created Remembering T.J.—A Story of Teen Depression, Lessons and Hope along with the rememberingtj.org website and blog. The Sefciks have presented to over 25,000 students, parents, educators and mental health professionals…Wendy has been a great friend to Minding Your Mind by giving of her time and talent, and endless connections in New Jersey. Our growth and expansion in New Jersey can be directly attributed to Wendy, who has been instrumental in introducing Minding Your Mind to schools and community organizations all over the state.”
Kim Porter, executive director of Be a Part of the Conversation, spoke about the impact of living through a child battling substance use disorder. Minding Your Mind young adult speakers shared testimonials from students, parents, mental health professionals, and educators who have experiences a Minding Your Mind presentation. The evening’s program was closed by Minding Your Mind’s Kristen Harootunian and her inspiring, personal story that she presents to students and adults as a young adult speaker.
Thank you to the hundreds of people who joined us and support our efforts every day. Please enjoy the photos from the event; click on a thumbnail to enlarge and scroll through the slide show.