Unfractured Grace, the inaugural benefit for the Tampa Bay Foundation for Mental Health, was held Saturday, February 6th at the Tampa Museum of Art, drew over 200 guests, and raised over $85,000 for Foundation programming. During dinner and dancing, donors bid on items including Tampa Bay Lightning and Yankees packages, and dinner and artwork generously donated by local businesses.
Dr. Jamie W. Fernandez, psychiatrist and President and founder of the Foundation opened the evening speaking about the mission of the foundation and how good mental health is essential to a growing any thriving community, “While these [mental health] diseases are devastating, they are also treatable. But we need better access to care, less stigma, and more funding. The latest figures place Florida at No. 50 in the nation in terms of mental health spending, down from No. 49 last year… We need to balance hospital-based crisis stabilization with outpatient management and stability. This is about working together as a compassionate community to reduce obstacles to care in the hope of avoiding yet another tragedy.”
Dr. Fernandez then introduced Former Governor Robert “Bob” Martinez who filled in for long-time friend Mr. Frank Morsani and spoke about the need for better health policy and funding and the fact that, to this point, few organizations such as the TBFMH have existed. He also congratulated Dr. Fernandez and the board for working to help those affected by mental illness. The live auction was introduced by orthopedic surgeon and TBFMH board member, Dr. Mark Frankle, who spoke personally about his own wife’s struggle with depression and eventual suicide, it’s impact on him and his family, and the need to bolster local mental health resources.