Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 9am

Your Health

LAH couple give big for mental health

Courtesy of El Camino Hospital
Doug and Mary Scrivner matched a $1 million donation to El Camino Hospital’s ASPIRE program this month. ASPIRE is a seven-year-old program which allows youth and young adults to receive outpatient mental health services while receiving course credit.

El Camino Hospital in Mountain View has fulfilled a $1 million challenge posed to hospital supporters by Mary and Doug Scrivner of Los Altos Hills. Last April, the Scrivners promised to match gifts up to $1 million donated to the hospital’s new mental health initiative.

According to hospital officials, 269 people donated to the challenge to fund an endowment for the hospital’s After-School Program Interventions and Resiliency Education (ASPIRE) program, launched in 2010.

“We are thrilled and grateful that so many in our community have joined us in supporting mental health services,” Mary Scrivner said. “Reaching the $1 million challenge goal, six months ahead of schedule, really shows that people want to make a difference in this community.”

The Scrivners said they wanted to equip young people in Silicon Valley with skills to manage stress in their lives.

“Most people would recognize that kids today are under – and feel they are under – pressures that earlier generations might not have had or felt,” Doug Scrivner said. “The Valley is such a success-oriented, ambitious, energized community that has created the environment for this type of program.”

By creating an endowment, the Scrivners hope to enable the nascent ASPIRE program the opportunity to expand.

“Part of the thinking behind our challenge and gift is to create an endowment that would for the long term provide the seed funding for ASPIRE to continue to assess and improve, to expand. And, frankly, the demand is beyond that,” Doug said.

According to hospital officials, ASPIRE was founded after a number of teen suicides occurred in the region. The accredited outpatient therapy program focuses on the mental health needs of students experiencing anxiety and depression who may be at risk of self-harm.

ASPIRE began with a single track that could accommodate eight high school-aged patients and allow them to receive course credit while they were in the program. It has since expanded, with capacity to serve 42 youth and young adults from middle school age to 18- to 25-year olds.

“In some of our other giving, we have been focused on education,” Doug said. “ASPIRE is accredited. … For kids to be able to learn, they have to be in a position to learn.”

The Scrivners view the endowment as a way of making a mark on their community.

“We wanted to leave a legacy,” Mary said. “We do not have children of our own, and we wanted to make a difference. Being here in Silicon Valley, it became very evident that there was a huge adolescent mental health need.”

The Scrivners thanked Jim and Marla de Broekert in particular for the substantial gifts they gave as part of the challenge, as well as the community served by El Camino Hospital and the 72 hospital employees who participated in the challenge.

“People too often look to create something new when there’s already something that works,” Doug said. “Demonstrating that it works, and packaging it to give to others so they do not have to recreate the wheel is a powerful incentive.”

For more information, visit elcaminohospital.org/aspire.

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