The Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) will host their annual benefit gala on June 5th at Cipriani 42nd Street.

The name of the event, “Bridges to Mental Health: A Celebration of Hope” reflects the connection we are making between mental health and brain injury, as well as the new relationships they are building between soldiers, scientists and athletes coming together to advance this critical cause.

This year, the gala takes on special significance as the organization launches the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Emotional Wellness Alliance, an advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness of the mental health impact of TBI. Three collaborative Councils, consisting of leaders in sports, science, and veteran’s affairs, advise the Alliance, and drive recognition, science-based information, and sound policy and advocacy initiatives at the convergence of mental health and TBI issues from the schoolyard and stadium, to the battlefield.

The Alliance joins two existing groups — the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance and the Veterans Mental Health Coalition — under the banner of MHA-NYC’s Center for Policy, Advocacy, and Education.

“MHA’s annual benefit is the largest opportunity each year for our organization to raise needed funds to continue our vital, life-saving work. This year, the Mental Health Association of New York City is proud to expand the gala to serve as a launch event for the TBI and Emotional Wellness Alliance. The Alliance will have a lasting legacy on many thousands of recreational and professional athletes, veterans, and their families by advocating on their behalf to raise awareness of the behavioral health impact of concussions and more severe traumatic brain injuries,” said Giselle Stolper, President and CEO of MHA-NYC.

Award winning ABC news correspondent, Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee Woodruff, will co-host this year’s MHA-NYC Gala. Frank Branchini, President and COO of EmblemHealth, serves as Dinner Chair.

The benefit will honor Harry Carson, NY Giants Hall of Fame linebacker for his pioneering work in bringing attention and focus to the devastating effects of sports related traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as his success in making sports safer for youth.

MHA-NYC will also recognize both Sylvia Mackey, widow of the Colt’s John Mackey and co-founder of the NFL’s “88 Plan”, a program set up to provide financial resources for the care of retired pro players who suffer the effects of debilitating TBI, and Sarah Rainey, student advocate for concussion education and management.

Learn more about the event and sponsorship opportunities at

MHA-NYC is a non-profit organization that addresses mental health needs in New York City and across the nation. It is a local organization with national impact and has a three-part mission of services, advocacy and education. For over 40 years, MHA-NYC has identified unmet needs and worked to develop culturally sensitive services and programs to improve lives while promoting the importance of mental wellness. Find out more here.

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