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Child Mind Institute Raises More Than $523,000 at Annual Bay Area Fall Luncheon to Support California Kids

October 2, 2023

Renowned author Donna Jackson Nakazawa shared modern parenting strategies to help today’s youth thrive in a stressed-out world

San Mateo, CA – The Child Mind Institute hosted its 2023 Fall Luncheon on Wednesday, September 27 at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club in Menlo Park — raising more than $523,000 to help support youth and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders.

The event’s guest speaker, award-winning author and journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa, shared her insights into the causes of pervasive stress in our nation’s young people, how it can derail healthy emotional development and — most importantly — how mindful parenting, strong family bonds, and community connections can help kids thrive despite these challenges. Nakazawa’s most recent book, Girls on the Brink: Helping Our Daughters Thrive in an Era of Increased Anxiety, Depression, and Social Media, was named by the Washington Post and Mashable as one of the best health books of 2022.

Nakazawa was joined by Lauren Allerhand, PsyD, the co-director of Dialectical Behavior Therapy Programs and a psychologist in the Mood Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute’s clinic in San Mateo. Dr. Allerhand specializes in evidence-based assessment and treatment of youth struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, ADHD, and oppositional defiant disorder.

The Child Mind Institute’s founding president and medical director, Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, moderated the discussion.

During the talk, Nakazawa shared important insight: “The main job of parenting is not for your kid to get accolades or awards or go to Harvard, the main goal is to help them develop resiliency. That requires not fixing everything for them; if we take away opportunities for them to build resiliency by doing things for them like taking the paper that they left at home to school, or talking to their coach when they should do that themselves, we are not allowing them to build resiliency.”    

She added, “We all share this desire for our kids to succeed — we all know it’s competitive out there — but don’t mistake your desire for your kid to succeed by helping them out when in reality the best chance for them to succeed is when they help themselves.”

Panelists agreed that the mental health fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic is still taking its toll: the number of youth struggling with mental health disorders is at an all-time high, and many of those youth aren’t getting the help they need due to financial barriers, societal barriers, and a shortage of mental health professionals. The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) reports that 64 percent of Californians aged 12–17 who have depression did not receive any care in the last year.

The Child Mind Institute is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. It also supports public education about mental health and learning disorders through initiatives such as the California Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids Project, and helps build the mental health workforce of tomorrow through mentorship programs like the Youth Mental Health Academy.

Luncheon co-chairs included Devon Briger, Lisa Domenico Brooke, Kristin Noto, and Linnea Roberts.

About the Child Mind Institute

The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain, and empower parents, professionals, and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most. Together with our supporters, we’re helping children reach their full potential in school and in life. We share all of our resources freely and do not accept any funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Learn more at

Tagged with: Child Mind Institute News, In The News