Culver City Observer -

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Raises More Than $450,000

 

April 30, 2015



Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services moved a step closer to erasing the stigma of mental illness on Thursday, April 23 by honoring several passionate champions of mental health awareness and suicide prevention, including singer/songwriter Mary Lambert, television personality Howie Mandel, NBA New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson, former California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and his 21-year-old daughter, Jordana Steinberg.

Held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the 19th annual Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards drew more than 600 guests and raised more than $450,000 for mental health and substance abuse treatment for people in communities where stigma or poverty limits access.

Comedian Wendy Liebman emceed the event, which launched with a performance by 2015 Mental Health Ambassador Mary Lambert, who sang her hit song, “Secrets.” Blues artist The Reverend Shawn Amos, who is on the Board of Directors of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services and chaired the event, closed the festivities with a performance of original and classic blues

Also recognized throughout the evening were several former and current clients whose lives were transformed after receiving treatment at Didi Hirsch.

Clients highlighted in short videos played during the event include the formerly homeless David Mills, who is regaining his independence since Culver City bus driver Adrian “Red” Roberts brought him to the agency to get help; Jennifer Giras, who regained custody of her son after undergoing treatment at our residential center for mothers and young children; Ester Ybarra Bryant, who became an advocate and volunteer at our Suicide Prevention Center following the suicide of her 13-year-old son; and the Thompson family, who benefitted from counseling designed for military families after Army National Guardsman Stephen Thompson returned home from Iraq.

"How inspiring to see three generations of people coming together to support one another, share each other’s stories, and show the world we are the same,” says event chair Shawn Amos.

“It's impossible for stigma to survive when people so bravely and honestly claim their dignity and determination. I see a day when people will stop talking about 'having' mental illness and instead celebrate how they are merely 'living' with mental illness."

 

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