Sister of Hollywood Actress and Mental Health Advocate to Headline SMH Gala

Contact: Steve McLean
Communications Director
(206) 302-2261

SEATTLE – May 8, 2012 – When Sound Mental Health hosts its seventh annual gala, Mental Health Matters, Wednesday, May 9, it will feature a very special guest. Jessie Close, sister of Hollywood legend Glenn Close, will serve as a keynote speaker at the annual spring gala and fundraiser. The event will be held at the Metropolitan Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel and Towers from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Though her sister is well-known for riveting theatrical performances, Jessie herself is also a rising star, lauded for her candid, honest and perception-changing revelations about her own struggles with bipolar disorder. With her will be son Calen, who frequently joins her to speak (he is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder), daughter Mattie, and son, Sander, who will all share their personal perspectives on the issue.

“We are very fortunate to have someone of Jesse’s stature and reputation at our event,” said Gayle Johnson, chief development officer at SMH. “Internationally, she is quickly becoming a force in mental health advocacy and brings a unique and personal perspective to the mental health conversation. We are privileged to have her and her children at our event.”

The gala, one of the most eagerly-anticipated community behavioral health events of the year, attracts local and regional elected officials, community activists, local celebrities and hundreds of supporters who rally around the organization’s mission to improve lives through innovative services. Money raised from Mental Health Matters supports many SMH programs, including services for children, families in crisis, survivors of domestic violence and the homeless.

Mental Health Matters also promotes awareness for community mental health and celebrates the outstanding individual achievement of those dedicating their lives to improving mental health in King County. Dr. David Stone, SMH CEO, will present the Gov. Booth Gardner Mental Health Champion Award this year to Ron Sims, former Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and King County Executive. The award will be presented in recognition for Mr. Sims’ extraordinary contributions to our community and his efforts to advance the cause for better mental health services.

Event sponsors in 2012 include Genoa Healthcare, Puget Sound Business Journal, Muckleshoot Casino, Bennett Bigelow & Leedom, P.S., Lilly, Linn, Schisel & DeMarco, PS, Seattle Children’s, Keeney’s Office Supply, Parker, Smith & Feek, The Nesholm Family Foundation, The Low Income Housing Institute, a&a printing, inc. and ThinkAlike.

For more information about the gala or to request an invitation, please contact Steve McLean, Sound Mental Health communications director, at .

About Sound Mental Health

Sound Mental Health is a private, tax-exempt organization that has provided a comprehensive array of mental health and related services to the King County community since 1966. Our goal is to help individuals and families achieve the highest level of independence and (mental) health possible. Services are tailored to meet the unique needs of different age, disability and cultural/ethnic groups.