Saturday, September 5, 2015

CHOC Children's Mental Health Center

Recently I was blessed to be able to go to a press conference at CHOC 
for the new pediatric mental health center they're building.

I was particularly excited to be asked to attend 
because of the mental health issues I struggled with as a child. 
I inherited anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder from my parents,
and was always trying to hide it and control it.
Mental health awareness was not big in those days.

When I grew up and got the courage to receive treatment,
I decided that it would not be a shameful thing.
I set about sharing my story in an attempt to reduce the stigma of mental illness 
and encourage others to seek treatment for their own benefit and those around them.
Each life is so valuable, and so is each person's gifts they have to share with the world.
If we could be as proactive at treating mental illness as we are at treating physical illness, 
think of the lives we could save and the good that would come out of them!

The CHOC Children's Mental Health Center is coming to fruition 
because of the efforts of many dedicated individuals, including Pastor Rick and Kay Warren. 
They lost their son to his own struggles with depression and were anxious that other children 
would have better resources than were available to them in Orange County.

One in five children experience a diagnosable mental health condition during childhood, 
yet there are no psychiatric inpatient beds for patients under 12 
and insufficient inpatient beds for adolescents in Orange County hospitals.

The center will cost $11 million to build and $16 million to keep it running.
Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, managing partner, C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, 
has donated a $5 million lead gift to help establish CHOC Children's Mental Health Inpatient Center!
The center will house 18 beds in a secure environment with an outdoor area as well.
Plans are for construction to be completed in late 2017.

CHOC Children's President and CEO Kimberly Chavalas Cripe 
wants to make this center a model for other hospitals all over to duplicate.
"We want to promote honest dialog about children suffering from mental illness, 
helping to remove the social stigma. By inspiring others to share their stories, 
we hope to help them to heal and help others on their paths toward recovery and healing. 
We know our plans are ambitious, but they are critical and life-saving. 
The vision begins with establishing a caring home at CHOC Children's 
for children and their families to turn to for help," Cripe said.

To learn more about ways to give to CHOC Children's mental health campaign, 
call the CHOC Children's Foundation at 714-509-8690 or visit

1 comment:

Cherish said...

Love this and love that you fight the stigma!


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