Community Leaders Recognized for Their Mental Health Support
More than 250 business leaders, elected officials and community members attended EMQ FamiliesFirst’s Silicon Valley Community Awards Luncheon on March 4, 2016 at the Fairmont Hotel. Together, they recognized three honorees, raised $180,000 for the organization, and learned about the power of listening.
“You can have an impact on somebody’s life just by listening to them,” said suicide survivor and suicide prevention advocate Kevin Berthia.
Berthia received a standing ovation for his keynote address, telling the crowd 11 years ago when he was standing on a 4-inch cord on the Golden Gate Bridge; all he could think about was getting out of pain. “I didn’t have any other options.”
Sgt. Kevin Briggs (Ret.) was the officer at the scene. Berthia said Briggs fully listened to him. “He didn’t say anything and he didn’t judge,” he said. “That’s what ultimately saved my life.”
The Community Star in Action Award went to El Camino Hospital, for its funding of the Addiction Prevention Services program and the Mobile Crisis Unit at Uplift Family Services.
Dr. Nancy Peña, former Santa Clara County Mental Health Director, received the Leadership and Advocacy Award for her vision in crisis care for Santa Clara County’s children, resulting in the new Crisis Stabilization Unit at EMQ FamiliesFirst.
Philanthropists Michael and Mary Ellen Fox received the Donor Star Recognition Award for their generosity and longtime support of Uplift Family Services and other community nonprofit organizations.
Darrell Evora, president and CEO of EMQ FamiliesFirst, announced at the gathering the agency would be known as Uplift Family Services beginning July 1, 2016. The new name better reflects the agency’s commitment to lifting up families and strengthening communities.
About EMQ FamiliesFirst
EMQ FamiliesFirst is one of the largest, most comprehensive mental and behavioral health treatment programs in California. EMQ FamiliesFirst takes a state-of-the-art approach to children and adolescents with complex behavioral health challenges and helps them recover from trauma such as abuse, severe neglect, addiction and poverty. For youth that exit our programs, over 90% are living in the community, staying in school, and remaining out of trouble. For more information, visit www.emqff.org and follow the agency on Twitter @emqff.