Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation appreciates and honors the sacrifice of women in the pursuit of making society a fairer and more equal place for other women and girls in the United States and around the world. March is Women’s History Month, and we’d like to acknowledge and celebrate the many women who serve our mission as staff, Board members, and Friends of the Foundation.
In honor of this occasion, we sat down with Christie Toson, member of Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation’s Board of Directors, to talk about how she hopes to make a difference in the mental health community for generations to come:
What inspired you to serve on Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation’s Board of Directors?
Rogers helped me conquer a personal struggle in the past, and this was the ideal way to give back and help, in any way I can, the behavioral health community. The Foundation is continually striving to add mental health resources to strengthen individuals, families, and communities. If I can contribute to those efforts, I want to be involved!
How do you work to inspire others to get involved with philanthropy and/or the mental health community?
I speak to my employees frequently about giving their time, resources, and talent back to the community. Many people do not understand how far even a little extra effort goes. I encourage and challenge them to find something they are passionate about and to get involved.
What kind of impact do you hope to make with your service to Rogers?
I hope to increase awareness about behavioral health challenges and help overcome the stigma that is attached to them. If I can impact the life of just one person by telling real stories about patient experiences along with the hope that comes with treatment, I feel like I’d have done my job.
What has been the biggest benefit for you in your involvement with the Foundation?
Watching all that the Foundation does to help the Rogers’ programs grow and flourish has been a wonderful reward.
How do you work to empower/inspire other women?
By helping them realize that EVERYONE has strengths and weaknesses to overcome. Women tend to feel they do not have a voice, which keeps them silenced from sharing their opinion. If I can show them how to express their opinions in a respectful way, I feel like this can be an inspiration.
Also, I often witness women trying to please too many people and trying to make friends with everyone. By encouraging them to understand that this will not benefit themselves or their mental health, they can see the freedom that comes with just being yourself.
What are some of your hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time?
Anything active – participating in sports like tennis, golf, pickleball, platform tennis, triathlons, cycling, etc. I enjoy being outdoors as much as possible during warm weather (I’m not a cold weather person!) I love to travel and do anything adventurous.
What has been your favorite place you’ve ever visited and why?
I love all parts of Italy. I love the Italian people, their fashion, their food, their gelato, and the beauty of their architecture and geography.
What is your go-to song that makes you happy every time you hear it?
Rio by Duran Duran