Derek Kautio is the President-Elect of the Beacon Mental Health Foundation, and has served on the Board for 3 years. He has been a helpful supporter of the annual Tee Off fundraiser, and has earned the respect of everybody on the board with his quiet, thoughtful approach to his volunteer work.

“I’m fortunate that my company, McCownGordon Construction, supports community involvement, and when I had the opportunity, I knew that I wanted to get involved in the world of behavioral health. Beacon Mental Health was a great fit for my interests and I was happy to join the Foundation Board in 2021,” he explains.

Derek’s interest in Behavioral Health is inspired by his children. His 13-year-old daughter Chloe, 11-year-old son Hudson, and 9-year-old son Barrett are all involved in great activities and doing well in performing arts, comedy and sports, but Derek is aware of the differences between their world and his childhood. “Social media and screens are always there, and, as a parent, you need to work to give them other, more positive things to do than to mess around on social media. It’s not healthy, and the only way you can fight it is to have better things in their lives.”

The amount of work that Beacon Mental Health does in the community makes Derek proud to be a part of the agency. “I don’t think many people realize how much outreach Beacon does in the community. It’s not just a clinic where people can come and get the services they need. Beacon is in the schools and working with first responders, always trying to let people know more about mental health and how to access the help that they need,” Derek explains.

Looking to the future, Derek sees more need and more outreach. “The 988 number is important, and we just need to spread more awareness. If you need a hospital or a prescription, it seems there’s always a billboard or a TV add telling you how to get what you need. I would like to see mental health messages be just as common and help people know where to turn when they need mental health services.”

Beacon is fortunate to have people like Derek volunteer their time to serve as board members and bring the perspective of the community to our agency.

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