Mental Health Matters

By Richard Mineards   |   September 12, 2019
Tony Morris, Rona Barrett, Cynthia Manigault, Annmarie Cameron, and Marybeth Carty at the Mental Wellness Center luncheon (photo by Priscilla)

A record 190 guests turned out at the Biltmore for the 73-year-old Mental Wellness Center’s 9th annual Merryl Brown-designed lunch, which was expected to raise $175,000 for general funds to help families, adults, and teens.

The keynote speaker was Sonali Beaven, an author and mental health advocate, who lost her father, Todd, on United Boeing 757 Flight 93, on September 11, 2001, when it crashed in Pennsylvania, supposedly on its way to destroy Washington’s Capitol Building, killing all 44 passengers on board and four al-Qaeda terrorists.

Sonali, who is studying to be a clinical psychologist, was just five years old at the time.

Geoff Green, keynote speaker Sonali Beaven, and her mother Kimi Beaven (photo by Priscilla)
Monica Perez, Kimi Beaven, Sonali Beaven, Emma Carpenter, April Montoya, Nicole Corte, Abby Honikman, Matt Haley, Susan Carlson, Frank Tabar, and Kelly Fox Flint (photo by Priscilla)
Toni Amorteguy, Pat Van Every, A. E. Amorteguy, Michelle Joanou, Alana Walczak, George Leis, Anne Towbes, Kathyrn Valdez, and Jeff Lombardi at the Biltmore (photo by Priscilla)

“It is only with time that I grasped the gravity of what occurred,” she said. “I was diagnosed with depression at twelve… I was consumed with a debilitating sadness. I felt deeply ashamed of being depressed. I felt suicidal.”

Among those listening to her deeply emotional speech were Marybeth Carty, Geoff Green, Peter MacDougall, John and Ellen Pillsbury, Thomas Rollerson, Anne Towbes, George Leis, Mary Ellen Tiffany, Rona Barrett, and Frank Tabar.


You might also be interested in...