October 19, 2022

Annual Event Celebration Focuses on Youth Mental Health

Fifteenth Seeds of Hope fundraiser takes places at Loma Linda University Health.

Molly Smith, Loma Linda University News

Donors and supporters gathered October 13, 2022, for the 15th Seeds of Hope fundraiser, an annual event that raises scholarship funds for Loma Linda University Behavioral Health (LLUBH) patients in need. This year’s focus spotlighted the services and programs supporting young patients and their families on their journey to recovery. Guests were treated to a patient testimony, saw the Behavioral Health Champion Award presentation, and welcomed a dedicated health professional guest speaker.

Over the past year, Loma Linda Behavioral Health’s skilled care teams have provided more than 22,100 days of inpatient treatment and over 57,300 visits to the Partial Hospitalization and Outpatient programs. In 15 years, the Seeds of Hope event has provided more than 300 scholarships to patients and their families who had limited or no access to insurance.

“Our Loma Linda University Behavioral Health team works to plant hope in our patients and families. Your presence here tonight shows your belief in our mission and can also be a seed of hope to someone in need,” Edward Field, vice president and administrator for the Behavioral Medicine Center, said.

Richard Hart, president of Loma Linda University Health, presented the Behavioral Health Champion Award to the Mathews and Bolden families, who have been dedicated to supporting health initiatives in the region. The award recognizes and celebrates the dedication of supporters and donors of the Loma Linda University Behavioral Health mission.

“The Mathews and Bolden families have been wonderful partners with Loma Linda University Health for years and have a particular passion for children and behavioral health,” Hart said.

The Mathews Bolden Family Therapeutic Courtyard is their latest gift, and is scheduled to open early next year. The new space will provide a safe outdoor play and therapeutic area for the Behavioral Medicine Center residents.

Hart welcomed guest speaker Annette Ermshar to the stage. Ermshar is a neuropsychologist and Loma Linda University alumna who supports LLUBH’s mission through her own passion for helping others get back on their feet and achieve their personal best.

The audience also viewed 13-year-old Grace Turner’s story about triumphing over separation anxiety. She and her mother, Rebecca, were welcomed onstage by Glenn Scott, director of youth partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient services, to participate in a Q&A panel featuring Grace’s therapist, Kaitlyn McLaughlin, and child-adolescent psychiatrist Jennifer Minami.

“I feel like myself again. I have amazing family and friends who have supported me through my separation anxiety and treatment,” Grace said, with tears in her eyes. The audience responded with a congratulatory standing ovation.

The original version of this story was posted by Loma Linda University Health News.