Ester with family at Seeds of Hope event after receiving Behavioral Health Champion Award

Ester Boloix-Chapman, third from right, celebrates with her family after receiving the Behavioral Health Champion Award.

Patients, families, staff, and supporters were welcomed at Behavioral Health’s sixteenth annual Seeds of Hope event on Oct. 19.

Held in Centennial Complex, the event featured the success story of one patient, a presentation of the Behavioral Health Champion award, and guest speaker Bertrand Moses, MSc, a Loma Linda University Behavioral Health graduate.

The Behavioral Health Champion Award, created to recognize and celebrate the dedication of supporters, was awarded to Ester Boloix-Chapman. Richard Hart, MD, DrPH, president of Loma Linda University Health, honored Boloix-Chapman by thanking her for invaluable support and selfless efforts that have equipped individuals with the essential tools for a healthy and fulfilling life.

Murrieta Dual Diagnosis patient, Orsey Hendrix, was in attendance and represented one of many patients impacted by the efforts of supporters. Hendrix and his wife vulnerably shared their journey with alcoholism and the breaking point that led Hendrix to seek help at Loma Linda University Behavioral Health.

As Jeevaka Weerasinghe, RN, BSN, MSN, executive director of Behavioral Health, thanked Hendrix for his courage, Hendrix interrupted.

“I don’t mean to interrupt you, but every time you thank me, tears fill my eyes. I love you here; my family and I cannot thank each and every one of you enough,” Hendrix said.

Guest speaker Moses reflected on his journey to becoming a mental health professional and how it led him to combat the stigma at an international level. Moses now serves at UNICEF as the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Specialist, overseeing initiatives spanning 12 Caribbean countries.

To those in attendance, Edward Field, MBA, Loma Linda University Health vice president of behavioral health services, announced the development of the EmPATH unit as a result of $6 million in grant funding.

“These developments represent our unwavering commitment to not only meet the growing demand for behavioral health services but also to provide the best possible care for our community, regardless of age,” Field said. “Your presence here tonight and dedication to supporting Loma Linda University Behavioral Health enables us to continue these vital initiatives. Together we're shaping a brighter future for behavioral health.”

For more information on the event or ways to contribute to the cause, visit Seeds of Hope.