2024 Summit Gala: In Unity We Flourish – Supporting Our Community

2024 Summit Gala: In Unity We Flourish – Supporting Our Community

On Saturday, February 24th, over five hundred community leaders and Summit supporters gathered to celebrate the joy of generosity, a passion for community, and a commitment to support mental wellness at the Summit Counseling Center’s 9th Annual Summit Gala held at The Hotel at Avalon.

David Smith, Executive Director, expressed gratitude for the generosity of supporters: “Through this infusion of hope, we are able to raise awareness about mental health issues, increase access to care, and make mental health services affordable to all.”

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr opened the event with an update on Georgia’s mental health initiatives and the work being done by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities at the state level.

Renowned TV journalist, Shyann Malone, served as the emcee for the evening. She led a fireside chat with esteemed community leaders, including:

  • Lester Archambeau, Senior Player Director, NFL Players Association
  • Javis Austin, Former Running Back, Clemson University
  • Mercedez Jackson, Coordinator of School Social Workers, Fulton County Schools
  • Nikeisha Whatley-Leon, System Director of Behavioral Health Services, Northside Hospital
  • Will Atkins, Director of Operations and Clinical Services, Summit Counseling Center

In addition to their generous contribution as the Presenting SponsorThe Will to Live Foundation made a $5,000 donation to The Summit on behalf of our First Annual Summit Life Teammate Awardee, Madeline Redetzky. Voted on by her peers, Ms. Redetzky embodies the true spirit of a teammate, serving as a mentor to her team, ambassador of mental well-being, and an advocate for her clients.

“Mental health affects us all, and seeking help is a sign of strength,” said Rachel Newcomer, the Director of Development, “The funds raised at this year’s gala will help The Summit continue to advocate for mental awareness, reduce stigma, and promote well-being.”

1. Prevalence: Approximately 21%of U.S. adults (equivalent to 9 million people) experience a mental health condition annually. This highlights the widespread impact of mental health issues.

2. Youth and Suicide: Tragically, suicideis the second leading cause of death for U.S. children aged 10 to 14, surpassed only by unintentional injuries. This underscores the urgency of mental health support and prevention efforts for young individuals.

3. Young Adults: Young adults aged 18 to 25have the highest rate of experiencing mental health conditions annually (6%). Close behind are those aged 26 to 49 (25.3%). Early intervention and accessible mental health services are critical during these formative years.

4. Emergency Room VisitsOne out of every eightemergency room visits involves a mental health or substance abuse disorder. Timely access to care and proper resources can help reduce the strain on emergency services.

5. Economic Impact: Severe mental health conditions result in a staggering annual cost of $193.2 billionto the U.S. economy. Investing in mental health services can lead to better outcomes and economic savings.

Visit our website at summitcounseling.org/gala for a photo gallery from the evening, recognition of the event’s sponsors and save the date information for next year’s event.

Summit Counseling Center is a trusted 501(c)(3) nonprofit community counseling organization that has helped individuals, couples, and families in north metro Atlanta experience hope, healing, and restoration since 1990. The Summit offers professional counseling; integrating body, mind, spirit, and relationships.  To learn more about our organizations and the communities we service, visit our website at summitcounseling.org or contact Cathy Murphy, Director of Marketing/Community Engagement at 678-893-5304 or cmurphy@summitcounseling.org.