16th Annual Bridging the Gap Gala

Details Sponsors Speaker Auction Underwriters Special Thanks

New Milestones Foundation Presents
Spotlight on Mental Health

An Old Hollywood Premiere Themed Evening

November 9, 2017  6:00 - 9:00 PM

Hyatt Regency Austin

Purchase tickets                             Sponsor Information

For questions contact info@newmilestones.org or call (512) 440-4051

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Hyatt Regency Austin

208 Barton Springs Road

Austin, TX

November 9, 2017 6PM-9PM

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Sheila Hamilton

  • Sheila Hamilton is a five-time Emmy award winning journalist.
  • The host of Portland, Oregon's #1 radio program, Kink.fm.
  • In 2013 she was voted Oregon's "Best Radio Personality."
  • In 2015, she was voted one of “Oregon's Mental Health Heroes."
  • In 2017 she won the Judy Cushing Celebrating Life Award, from Lines for Life.
  • Sheila's book, All the Things We Never Knew is currently #1 on Amazon's new releases in mental health/suicide.

Sheila's storytelling resume runs through film, television, radio and print. As a television anchor and reporter, Sheila covered some of the country's biggest stories, including the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, the bombing of LDS Church officials by forger Mark Hofmann, the mass shooting at Thurston High in Springfield, Oregon and the national figure skating scandal inflicted by Olympic skater Tonya Harding. Sheila recently ventured into reality television programming as a judge on Wanted, Adventure Woman. In 2013, Sheila was voted Oregon's "Best Radio Personality." Sheila serves on the boards of The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care and the Flawless Foundation. In 2015, she was voted one of “Oregon's Mental Health Heroes."

Even as a reporter, Sheila missed the signs as her husband David's mental illness unfolded before her. By the time Sheila pieced together the puzzle, it was too late. Her once brilliant and passionate partner was dead within six weeks of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, leaving his nine-year-old daughter and wife without so much as a note to explain his action, a plan to help them recover from their profound grief, or a solution for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that they would inherit from him.

Hamilton learned first-hand that economic security, a level of fame and health doesn't protect from the ravages of mental illness. She makes a passionate case for understanding the sometimes elusive signs and symptoms of mental illness, especially in high-functioning people, who tend to try to mask their illnesses. She speaks to the chaos and confusion of attempting to help someone who is in denial, and how families can best reach a person who insists they are "fine."

Sheila has researched best mental health practices in the United States, Great Britain and Canada and is a passionate advocate for expanded behavioral healthcare services. "For too long," Hamilton says, "We have relied on a pharmaceutical approach to mental illness that ignores the social, economic, and traumatic sources of brain illnesses. The question should not be, "What's wrong with you, but what happened to you?"

Hamilton's own healing began when she began to adopt mindfulness practices in order to heal from the trauma of her husband's suicide. She urges policy makers to begin early childhood education teaching primary-aged children how to self-soothe, how to work with their own thoughts and behaviors and how to develop more compassion for others. "Nobody is alone in this world. We have to coexist and take care of each other. "

Hamilton also urges survivors to end the cycle of suicide in families by fiercely advocating for the suffering. "We should demand an acknowledgement of brain illness as worthy of care, funding, and research as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. While every other measure of public health improves, this is the tenth year the suicide rate has increased." Hamilton speaks to the hero's journey, the person who journeys through horrendous conditions in order to expand his or her consciousness. She urges us to overcome the shame of suicide and talk openly and humanly about it. It affects us all. Her hope is that another life as exquisite as her husband's might be saved, and the sensitive ones will not only survive, but thrive.
Sheila's book, All the Things We Never Knew is currently #1 on Amazon's new releases in mental health/suicide. She has received starred reviews from Kirkus, Library Journal and Booklist, who called ATTWNK a "must read" in the category of mental health.

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Watch for what is available.

Paddles Up!!!

LIVE Auction
Exclusive Packages

2017 Live Auction Contributors

We're putting together some awesome live auction packages that will create a buzz and ignite a friendly bidding war! If you'd like to support Bridging the Gap 2017 with an in-kind contribution, please submit your donation to info@newmilestones.org. Your tax-deductible donation supports NMF's mission to eliminate stigma for people living with mental illness and to raise resources for NMF's mission to eliminate stigma for people living with mental illness and to raise resources for healthy living for everyone in our community.

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Lynley Prather


Honorary Gala Chairs

Lee and Sharon Easter


Master of Ceremony


Gala Committee

Hal Katz

Richard Hopkins

Mesha Barnes

Fran Irwin

Level Sponsors

Table Sponsors

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Funds raised will support NMF’s mission to help Integral Care provide quality services for people living with mental illness, substance use disorder and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community.