Last weekend we combined forces with the Karla Smith Foundation (KSF) for an amazingly inspirational weekend of events in St. Louis called “Change a Mind, Change a Life”. The KSF/BC2M teams held two events, a formal Gala at St. Louis’s Four Seasons Hotel, and a mental health focused Cardinal’s baseball game.
At the Gala we heard from the Smith family as they shared Karla’s story and the need to support the families and friends left in the wake of a suicide. For more information please visit their site: http://www.karlasmithfoundation.org/. These were intensely emotional yet empowering speeches. We then heard from Glenn Close about her families’ journey through the world of mental illness and her reasons for starting the BringChange2Mind campaign. Hearing these words were a powerful reminder that everyone has the potential of being affected by mental illness (1 in 6 suffer from a mental health condition), and that through our shared stories and love we can help to make it easier for the next generation.
The second event was the Cardinals/Mets game at Busch Stadium. A portion of each ticket sold through “Change a Mind, Change a Life” went to KSF and BC2M. The game was a huge success and the crowd watched closely as BC2M’s Public Service Announcement played on the JumboTron. It was at that point that we once again remembered that 1 in 6 individuals in the Stadium have a mental illness. The fun continued when Glenn threw out the first pitch and some of the BC2M volunteer’s children went out on the field with her.
With the help of the amazing Smith family we were able to raise a gross amount of $85,000 dollars that will help us in our combined efforts to fight stigma and provide help and resources to those suffering with mental illness, the people who love them, and the families and friends who may have lost a loved one due to a mental health condition. Forty-eight media spots (on radio, TV, and in print) were released all over the country and are still coming out this week. It was truly a phenomenal weekend of events!