Mental Health Advocate and Comedian Bill Bernat Announced as Keynote Speaker for Compass Health’s 2019 Building Communities of Hope Gala

Mental Health Advocate and Comedian Bill Bernat Announced as Keynote Speaker for Compass Health’s 2019 Building Communities of Hope Gala

Bernat will bring his thoughtful and humorous take on complex issues to headline the gala, set for September 28, 2019, to support Compass Health’s youth mental health programs

EVERETT, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Compass Health is proud to introduce mental health advocate and comedian Bill Bernat as the keynote speaker for its third-annual Building Communities of Hope Gala, planned for Sept. 28, 2019, at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip, Washington. Proceeds from the evening will support Compass Health’s youth mental health programs.

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“Each year, Compass Health works to improve the behavioral health of more than 5,000 children in Northwest Washington. Through the support of our community, sponsors and passionate individuals like Bill, Compass Health is able to offer a range of care to match each child’s specific needs,” said Tom Sebastian, president and CEO for Compass Health. “We’re thrilled to have Bill on board this year – his ability to make mental health approachable, and to see the humorous side in experiences that touch everyone, uplifts those who have struggled and helps reduce the stigma of seeking care.”

A recovering addict living with bipolar condition and a unique sense of humor, Bernat advocates for raising awareness of mental health issues through comedy and storytelling. His 2017 TEDxSnoIsleLibraries presentation, a renowned discussion on “How to connect with depressed friends,” graduated to, where it has garnered more than 1.6 million views and inspired conversations surrounding mental health, wellness and recovery.

“Navigating mental health and building personal connections is hard at any age but can be especially difficult in your childhood and teen years,” Bernat said. “Compass Health’s inclusive, compassionate programs play a critical role in helping these kids and their families live meaningful, purpose-driven lives.”Bernat has also appeared on Moth Radio Hour, Goalcast, Ignite Seattle and Comedy Central, among others, and often speaks to his personal struggles with mental illness. His honest, comical approach to his own mental health transformation helps to destigmatize conversations surrounding mental health care.

Presented in part by the Martyn Family Foundation and Coast Property Management, this year’s fundraiser will benefit Compass Health’s youth services that support children who have faced complex behavioral health challenges and family chemical dependency issues. The primary beneficiaries are Camp Outside the Box and Camp Mariposa, two of Compass Health’s most transformational youth programs.

Camp Outside the Box is a therapeutic summer program dedicated to serving more than 160 youth from the Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe) program. There, youth receive ongoing treatment and engage in peer relationship building, communication and pro-social behavior exercises, and build their self-esteem.

Camp Mariposa is a nationally recognized addiction prevention and mentoring program for youth who have been impacted by substance abuse and addiction. In partnership with Eluna, the camp combines education with support exercises, treating the whole person and uplifting youth in a fun, supportive environment. Led by Compass Health’s Children’s Intensive Services mental health professionals, the weekend-long camp sessions are available free of charge throughout the year, helping youth build knowledge, coping skills and confidence.

Compass Health’s 2018 Building Communities of Hope Gala surpassed both fundraising and attendance goals by raising more than $235,000 in support of the organization’s youth mental health services and bringing together 430 community members.

Buy your tickets to the 2019 Building Communities of Hope Gala here

To learn more about Compass Health or how you can support Compass Health’s youth services, please visit


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