Communities of Hope

Posted September 30, 2021 at 5:49 am by

Com­pass Health Cel­e­brates Build­ing Com­mu­ni­ties of Hope Gala Fea­tur­ing Keynote Speak­er Dr. Delaney Ruston

Dr. Delaney Ruston - Contributed photo

Non-prof­it behav­ioral health provider invites com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to join the vir­tu­al Gala on Octo­ber 16, 2021, to sup­port child, youth and fam­i­ly services

EVERETT, Wash., – Com­pass Health is proud to present keynote speak­er, Delaney Rus­ton, MD, at its fifth-annu­al Build­ing Com­mu­ni­ties of Hope Gala fundrais­er on Octo­ber 16, 2021, at 6 p.m. Rus­ton will speak about the impor­tance of fam­i­lies find­ing their voic­es in shar­ing chal­lenges and expe­ri­ences with men­tal health needs.

The event will be streamed live on YouTube and Face­book, and pro­ceeds from the evening’s Gala will sup­port Com­pass Health’s child, youth and fam­i­ly ser­vices. Reg­is­tra­tion is free, and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers are invit­ed to RSVP at

“With ongo­ing chal­lenges across our com­mu­ni­ties, demand for our youth and child behav­ioral health ser­vices is as strong as ever – and sup­port for our Gala is as crit­i­cal as ever. This past year, our pro­grams served more than 5,400 chil­dren and youth across North­west Wash­ing­ton, rang­ing from in-per­son, social­ly dis­tanced oppor­tu­ni­ties to ses­sions via tele­health plat­forms,” said Tom Sebas­t­ian, pres­i­dent and CEO of Com­pass Health. “Dr. Ruston’s per­spec­tive on giv­ing voice to men­tal health needs and resources will res­onate with those who share our mis­sion of reduc­ing stig­ma so that we can ful­ly sup­port whole per­son health. We are proud to fea­ture a speak­er of her caliber.”

Ruston’s keynote, The Gift of Shar­ing Our Truths, will explore why being open about youth men­tal health chal­lenges has tra­di­tion­al­ly been viewed as taboo, how over­com­ing the unmen­tion­able is vital for scal­ing sup­port, and how giv­ing a voice to youth strug­gles will ben­e­fit them in life-chang­ing ways. The talk will also include Ruston’s per­son­al sto­ry help­ing her own daugh­ter nav­i­gate depres­sion and grow­ing up with a father who expe­ri­enced schizophrenia.

A rec­og­nized expert on the top­ic of youth men­tal health chal­lenges, Dr. Rus­ton is the cre­ator of the award-win­ning doc­u­men­tary, Screenagers, a film that delves into solu­tions for healthy screen time, and Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER, which goes deep­er into improv­ing the emo­tion­al well­be­ing of today’s young pop­u­la­tion. Around 4.5 mil­lion kids and adults have gath­ered for screen­ings in 85 countries.

“The men­tal health stig­ma that exists in our soci­ety is a per­va­sive bar­ri­er that pre­vents indi­vid­u­als from seek­ing men­tal health care. Par­ents face count­less chal­lenges when it comes to par­ent­ing, and as chil­dren grow, those chal­lenges grow with them,” said Dr. Rus­ton. “For­tu­nate­ly, times are chang­ing, and today’s youth are becom­ing more accli­mat­ed to dis­cus­sions about men­tal health, and as adults we owe it to them to be the advo­cates, to start the con­ver­sa­tions and stay engaged in order to guide them to incred­i­ble resources like Com­pass Health.” 

The Gala fundrais­er sup­ports a host of Com­pass Health’s resources for chil­dren, youth and fam­i­lies, includ­ing the non-prof­it behav­ioral health agency’s Child and Fam­i­ly Out­pa­tient Pro­grams, Children’s Inten­sive Services/Wraparound with Inten­sive Ser­vices (WISe), Camp Out­side the Box, Camp Mari­posa, Child Advo­ca­cy Pro­gram (CAP), and Com­pass Health’s Ther­a­peu­tic Fos­ter Care Program.

“The COVID-19 pan­dem­ic has pre­sent­ed chal­lenges for us all, and those chal­lenges are sig­nif­i­cant for fam­i­lies who con­tin­ue to nav­i­gate child­care and school sys­tems, which is why it’s impor­tant that we main­tain these ser­vices dur­ing such an unprece­dent­ed time,” said Sebas­t­ian. “I am always in awe of the resilience of our com­mu­ni­ty and the will­ing­ness to ral­ly togeth­er and sup­port and uplift one anoth­er, and I’m look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing whole per­son health and hon­or­ing the com­mu­ni­ty that we serve.” 

The robust list of pro­grams sup­port­ed by this year’s Gala exem­pli­fies the range of ser­vices offered by the 118-year-old orga­ni­za­tion. With a focus on pro­vid­ing a full spec­trum of acces­si­ble care, Com­pass Health’s child, fam­i­ly and youth pro­grams are designed to pro­mote pos­i­tive changes in behav­ior, help the child and fam­i­ly learn appro­pri­ate cop­ing skills, and improve com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills includ­ing learn­ing to resolve con­flict and man­age emo­tions in a healthy man­ner. In addi­tion to hon­or­ing fam­i­ly voice and choice, clin­i­cal ser­vices such as the Child Advo­ca­cy Pro­gram offer spe­cial­ly trained ther­a­pists who uti­lize evi­dence-based treat­ment to address long-term con­di­tions that often result from abuse or trauma.

“This night promis­es to be inspir­ing and filled with joy, and I am very much look­ing for­ward to shar­ing this moment with our com­mu­ni­ty,” said Tom Koza­czyn­s­ki, chief advance­ment offi­cer at Com­pass Health. “As we face the chal­lenges of the ongo­ing pan­dem­ic as a front­line behav­ioral health provider, we rec­og­nize the impor­tance of our youth and fam­i­ly ser­vices pro­grams. The Gala pro­vides a key oppor­tu­ni­ty for our com­mu­ni­ty to respond and assist fam­i­lies in need.” 

To learn more about Com­pass Health or how you can sup­port Com­pass Health’s child, youth and fam­i­ly ser­vices, please vis­it


About Com­pass Health
Com­pass Health is North­west Washington’s behav­ioral health­care leader. A com­mu­ni­ty-based health­care agency, Com­pass Health inte­grates behav­ioral health and med­ical care ser­vices to form a key sec­tion of the com­mu­ni­ty safe­ty net and serve clients and oth­ers in need of care and sup­port. From com­pre­hen­sive men­tal health treat­ment to cri­sis pre­ven­tion and inter­ven­tion, sup­port­ive hous­ing, children’s ser­vices, com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion and much more, the non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion serves peo­ple of all ages through­out Sno­homish, Skag­it, Island, San Juan, and What­com counties. 

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