Akron, OH

Teegan Kamzelski's family donates $1 million to Akron Children's Hospital to support mental health services

Paul Krasinic

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AKRON — The Teegan Kamzelski Building, home to behavioral health programs at Akron Children’s Hospital in the Mahoning Valley, has been named in honor of a $1 million donation to help children and youth in need of mental and behavioral health care.

Christopher Thompson of North Benton and his family made the contribution by donating a life insurance policy in memory of Thompson’s son, Teegan Kamzelski, who died by suicide when he was 24 years old. Thompson hopes that the gift will allow children and youth in the Mahoning Valley to continue receiving care from Akron Children’s.

“If we could get treatment for children at a younger age, we could change the pathways of these kids’ lives. The behavioral health program is so important to us and needs support because no one is immune to this disease,” said Thompson.

According to his family, the late Kamzelski, a Hubbard High School graduate, left an impression on his community and everyone he met. He never met a stranger and was always willing to step in and assist anyone in need. His creativity and craftsmanship remain in the work he did as a self-taught master carpenter. And now, Thompson hopes his story and the support of his family and friends will provide help for troubled youths.

“Treatment for mental and behavioral health issues is so dear to my heart, but it carries such a negative stigma. It is so overlooked and undertreated because people are ashamed. No one should be ashamed,” added Thompson.

The gift will benefit Akron Children’s Lois and John Orr Family Behavioral Health Center in the Mahoning Valley. Care is provided through the Partial Hospitalization Program, the Intensive Outpatient Program, and counseling and support services.

Akron Children’s honored the Thompsons and unveiled the building name at a private event on May 28.

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