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Raising funds for mental health care
Bill and Susan Sands
By the end of 2013, Regions Hospital Foundation had raised $6.3 million toward its Campaign to Transform Mental Health Care, surpassing its $6 million goal. Contributions helped fund a new mental health facility that opened in December 2012, innovative programming and Make It OK, a campaign to fight the stigma associated with mental illness.
Bill and Susan Sands gave a major gift to the campaign, and Bill was instrumental in raising additional funds. "Regions is the primary provider of inpatient mental health care in the East Metro, and with this effort it really put a stake in the ground for improved care. Hopefully other providers will follow our lead," said Bill, who chairs the Regions Hospital Foundation board. "We also brought a number of first-time donors into the Regions family. I thought it was terrific."
Bill and Susan have experienced firsthand the pain caused by mental illness. After years of treatment for depression, Bill’s sister took her own life. "Our experience is not unique," Bill said. "One in four adults experiences a diagnosable mental illness each year. It's a huge problem in any community."
Regions Hospital Foundation will continue to raise money for mental health efforts, including Make It OK, our Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program and the Lee and Penny Anderson HeroCare Program for Veterans, which serves the unique needs of veterans who experience mental illness. Said Bill: "Our community has more mental health care needs that must be met. This is not the end of our journey."