Bob Sutherland – Board President
I support the Sutherland Bipolar Center & Foundation because I saw how important quality care for bipolar was for my father, Robert Sutherland. I also believe common-sense, evidenced-based treatment for mental illness, if widely adopted, could significantly improve our society and save money.
The family therapy model we use is crucial to people’s improvement and management of bipolar. For too long, mental health care has kept people in isolation, neglecting the deep impact a person’s immediate circle has on people’s mental health outcomes. I hear over and over again that “we just didn’t know enough to support our (parent/child/coworker)” when they manifested bipolar symptoms.” The Sutherland Seminar Series is a must for anyone with a close friend or family member who has been diagnosed with bipolar.
I am an avid runner, and the trails around Boulder are where you will find me. I have completed various long trail runs around Boulder and other locations in the west. I am also passionate about fly fishing, particularly large trout in western tailwaters. I am proud to be the fourth generation owner and executive of the Sutherland Lumber Company, where I oversee 6 stores in 4 states.
Lat Epps – Board Vice President
Having served on several nonprofit boards, which in retrospect did not cause real change in the communities, I discovered the Sutherland Bipolar organization where clients receive services that optimize their abilities to live productive lives. This is the board for me.
The twice-yearly seminar information series for clients, families, friends and the public broadens the awareness of how clients can thrive with their bipolar disorder. Locally this 8-part series is attended by from 40-60 persons per year. To reach an audience beyond our local community, the Seminar Series is available on the internet and can be streamed to any internet device world-wide.
Springtime in our nonprofit world is my favorite. It is the time for planning for the future and for development of strategies that widen our impact for clients who have this very complex mental health disorder. The need for our services is significant because in Boulder County alone there are 8,000 persons with bipolar disorder, and in the greater Denver area there are 73,000 persons with bipolar disorder.
Rachel Cruz – Board Secretary and Executive Director
I have been working for the Foundation for nearly 10 years with the last two years as Executive Director. In that time I’ve seen the lives of many clients changed for the better. As our clients seek help with an earnest desire to improve their situation, I’ve found our programs allow them to have ownership in their treatment, gain support in community, and come to an understanding and acceptance of the illness that wasn’t available to them before they found the Center. Their stories and testimonials of success, triumph and happiness are inspiring. This is what keeps me focused on making sure people know that we are a resource like no other.
We do so much at the Center, it’s hard to choose just one program to praise. But the offering that has the greatest potential to reach the most people in need would be our 8-part Seminar Series on audio. It’s available for anyone who has access to the internet, which is more than half the world’s population (3.2 billion people). If 2.6% of those people have bipolar disorder, and they can get educated about the illness, that’s over 83 million people! Imagine the positive impact that could have on people’s lives as well as the lives of their family members and friends! Plus, the sale of these Seminar Series is income to the clinic which directly treats clients with bipolar disorder. Those needing information and help are simultaneously giving assistance to those who need treatment. It’s a win-win for all.
I was a Colorado transplant in 1995, having grown up in Northern Virginia. The summers there were hot and humid, sticky and simply brutal. But Colorado is beautiful, almost year-round. At almost any time of year, I can grill a steak and make food for my family that we can enjoy out on our deck. Our backyard overlooks a lake, which is rare here, so I feel very fortunate to live where I do. Colorado is where my heart considers home.
Christin Bellian – Board Member
I love that the Sutherland Center treats bipolar disorder from a family systems approach. It is only when we consider the system that substantive change can be made that improves the lives of people living with bipolar disorder and their families. The goal-oriented and evidenced-base therapies utilized at the Sutherland Center come together to create a unique and comprehensive model for treating bipolar that is worthy of being replicated. We desperately need innovation in mental health care and the Sutherland Center is a great model.
I really appreciate that the Sutherland Seminar Series is geared not just for individuals with bipolar disorder but also their families and friends who want to support them. This is such a crucial piece to helping people with bipolar disorder thrive that is often overlooked. That the Sutherland Bipolar Center provides this service to the community really stands out.
I have a background in non-profit management and am more than halfway through a Master in Marriage and Family Therapy program at Regis University. It is a pleasure to be able to combine my two areas of expertise as a board member for the Sutherland Center and Foundation. When I am not doing school work, you can find me hiking and skiing. I have a husband, two kids, a dog and a cat who often join me on various adventures.
Amy Metz – Board Member
I joined the board officially after working with the Sutherland Center in my capacity as a Development Officer for the University of Colorado. When I chose to make a career change, I wanted to remain connected to the Center because I had come to know and appreciate the great impact the center was having. I feel that mental health is a huge area of concern for the human race, but especially here in Colorado, and we need to do more to address the lack of mental health education, resources available and stigma that goes along with mental health.
One area of impact for the Sutherland Center is that of training graduate students to evaluate and treat bipolar disorder. The specialized training they receive from our Director is invaluable as they enter the world as mental health professionals. Having spent so many years studying and working at the University of Colorado, I am quite passionate about quality education and what it does to shape the future. The Sutherland Center is teaching cutting edge ideas about evaluation and therapy.
I am a Colorado native and have chosen to stay in this beautiful state my whole life. I am married with two children, love animals, the outdoors and live music. My favorite season is very hard to pin down because one of the things I love about Colorado is that we truly experience all of the seasons. I can honestly say that just about when I am ready for a seasonal change, one is on the horizon, and they all have their pros and cons!
Diana Sherry – Board Member
I enthusiastically support the Sutherland Bipolar Center for a number of reasons, the top one being that when my late ex-husband struggled mightily with bipolar disorder, support such as that offered by the center would have made an enormous difference to us. Our family suffered in silence and alone and without the kinds of educational and therapeutic support that the center offers to its clients and their families. I know first-hand how isolating and confusing it can be to live with a family member who suffers from this illness; I also see how the resources, support, and therapy offered by Sutherland can make the difference between just getting by—and thriving. I saw how hard my loved one fought to get the upper hand on his illness; a program like that offered by Sutherland could have given him what he needed to succeed. He is gone now, but I can perhaps help see to it that other families are successful in supporting their loved one—by serving on the board.
I am passionate about several of Sutherland’s programs and services: what first caught my attention is the seminar series because such a thing would have been enormously helpful to our family—education can make such a huge difference to a person who wants to not be controlled by bipolar disorder; it can also help a family learn to support the client while also seeing to the needs of the other family members (who are also impacted). But, as I learned more about the center, I became impressed with the program that supports and educates graduate students pursuing psychology degrees. Bipolar disorder is a unique enough condition that I think it is imperative that any mental health professional have specific training in the treatment and diagnosis of it; Sutherland provides that!
As far as my favorite season; I often say that what I love about Colorado is ALL of the seasons; winter makes me appreciate summer; fall readies me for winter; spring builds up my excitement for summer. If you like changing seasons, Colorado is the place to live!