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  • Chelsea Toler-Hoffmann

A Community Gathering for World Mental Health

Updated: Nov 4, 2019


Featuring Alyssa Patmos, Michal Ann Morrison, Chelsea Toler-Hoffmann (KFG Foundation), Mark Garza and Chiara Adin (Flatwater Foundation), William Matthews, Janet Duke (Strong Family Alliance), Karen Ranus (NAMI Central Texas), Kristen Pierce (ACGC), and MJ McFarland

Thank you to the 50+ attendees who came out and participated in our community gathering honoring World Mental Health Day here in October! We were excited to partner with NEXUS Global Summit to make this event happen for the community, and are grateful to our generous sponsor, Keet, for helping us make it great. Keet is doing much-needed work in the healthcare space as a platform that better connects patients with their providers.


The gathering was led by our very own President Chelsea Toler-Hoffmann and Michal Ann Morrison, who is a Vice Chair of KFG. Michal Ann has been passionate about mental health since suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury in 2016 and learning how brain trauma can cause severe depression and anxiety.


Our goals for the event were to foster an honest and frank conversation about mental illness in our own community, provide a platform for nonprofit leadership in this space to share more about their incredible work, and connect next-gen leaders passionate about mental health with ways to get more involved.


We were joined by absolutely wonderful panelists and are grateful for their willingness to share their life stories and expertise with us.


Alyssa Patmos, a local brand strategist and health advocate, talked about her experience living with OCD. She hosts monthly gatherings called ‘Make it Mentionable,’ where she gives women a safe space to discuss topics that uniquely affect women but that we don’t always have the freedom to discuss freely. You can follow her on social @alyssapatmos or reach out at hi@alyssapatmos.com for more information.

William Matthews, former NFL player and Grammy-nominated singer, shared his experience losing friends and family members to suicide and his own experience with depression. We were fortunate to hear him perform his latest song, ‘Lighten Up’, which you can find here: https://ffm.to/lightenup.



Our second panel included professionals Karen Ranus, representing the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Kristen Pierce Vreeke from the Austin Child Guidance Center, Janet Duke from the Strong Family Alliance, and Chiara Adin and Mark Garza from the Flatwater Foundation.




Each of these organizations is contributing a critical service to members of our community here in Austin; reach out to them to learn more about how you can volunteer or make a donation!


We are grateful for the help and involvement of our KFG Next-Gen Advisory board members Olivia Tilley, AnneMarie McComb, Paris Tingley, Dylan Winters, Rachelle Jacques, and Susannah Haddad.


Michal Ann Morrison will be your point of contact for the community if you are interested in joining KFG efforts on mental health in the future. Feel free to email her at michalannm@gmail.com. If you are interested in partnering on other initiatives or supporting KFG's work feel free to reach out to Chelsea directly at chelsea@keepfamiliesgiving.org.

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