We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelli Hansen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelli, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
I am on a mission to empower people to break their silence about their mental health challenge so it does not rule their life. Doing this through education, awareness and connecting people to resources, Therefore I want to be remembered as a warrior for mental health. I want my nonprofit BCC Evolution, a mental health and suicide awareness nonprofit to be my legacy for all the generations to come.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My organization is BCC Evolution, a mental health and suicide awareness nonprofit. We serve Military, both active and veterans, Health Care Professionals/Nurses and Teachers/Families. Our mission is to empower people to break their silence about their mental health challenge, so it does not rule their life. Doing this through education, awareness and connecting people to resources. Our vision is to stop the stigma and silence around Mental Health and Suicide. BCC Evolution will accomplish this through education, being a hub for vetted resources: both traditional and non-traditional. And make mental health matter by normalizing the conversation around mental health and suicide. What sets us apart is we have several avenues throughout the year to continue the conversation around mental health and suicide awareness. We have our Annual Gala which is always around Feb 20th and is a themed night of food, fundraising and fun. We have our annual international MHSA Film Festival that features short independent films centered around mental health and suicide awareness from all over the world. Starting this year, which I am so excited about, we will be adding a concert series because music can touch the soul and mind in ways that nothing else can. We will also shortly be offering several different levels of education programs, currently we offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and will be adding a 2nd level curriculum that will be centered about the importance of understanding trauma and how to move away from feeling stuck in our trauma. Plus, a 3rd level education to become a Master Educator for our level 2 curriculum. Lastly, we just started BeeKind2YourMind subscription and care package boxes that are filled with goodies to help make you feel happy in a quarterly subscription box or we offer care packages for Military, Nurses and Teachers. We are always looking for ways to collaborate with other organizations, businesses and find resources for our audience. All of this has been a 3 year process, the biggest lesson I learned is as a visionary and the head of the organization you can’t help everyone and you really need to get clear on your audience, who you serve, where you’re going and what programs/events you are going to offer. Throwing a pin at a board and hoping that it sticks is never a good thing to do. I have learned that not all partnerships are beneficial and/or fit in our mission and vision. It is important to have the right team and structure to accomplish the goals set out. Having a team to back me up has been an amazing addition to the organization, also having several mentors and business coaches has made a HUGE difference. Without these mentors and coaches, the structure of the organization would have been chaotic. The structure of a nonprofit works very different than a traditional business, however a business revenue generating mindset is important for nonprofits. Nonprofits cannot survive on donations and fundraising only, there must be a business structure to sustain the business, continue growth and make an actual impact on the audience they serve. It took me 2 years to really understand this concept, but now that I fully understand and am embracing this new mindset I truly know there are no limits now and we are on the path to really making an impact on this thing we call life. I want the readers to know that the reason this nonprofit was founded was because I lost my middle sister Carrie Lyn to a completed suicide on Feb 20th, 2017. I knew I couldn’t sit around and do nothing, so I created BCC (Because Carrie Cared) and Evolution (because we are ever evolving) as a way to educate people about mental health and suicide so that another family does not have to go through the journey of losing someone close to them due to a mental health challenge which can lead to suicide. I want the readers to also know you’re not alone and your mental health condition does not have to rule your life. Through education, awareness and vetting out resources we can truly make mental health matter for all the world. Mental Health is so important that we should be talking about it daily just like the weather. Open your hearts, minds and mouths and be the change this world needs.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Denver is full of exciting places to go. If you’re an adventurer or thrill seeker like I am, I would highly recommend going to the Mile-Hi Skydiving Center, Inc. in Longmont, CO during the spring, summer or fall. Or if here during the winter there is always the adventure to the mountains to go skiing, snowboarding or tubing. Otherwise I love to hang out around town and check out all the delicious breweries we have. Denver has the RiNo district which has tons of shops, restaurants and fun places to explore. Or if you like big towns with a small town atmosphere, my favorite is main street in Parker, CO. So many options is a couple blocks of space.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Gosh, there have been so many incredible people along this journey that have completely changed the trajectory of my life and my organization. However, the person and group that helped me start this all is George Carroll and the Greatest Year of My Life (GYOYL) family. Without the support, encouragement, challenge to step outside my comfort zone, break through my fears that were keeping me stuck, building my mission, vision, value alignment and goal setting I would have never known the possibilities and the power that I had inside myself to make this all come true. I have been on a self-development journey for the last 3 years which have expanded my mind beyond imagination. I am so grateful for the support I have received from the whole GYOYL alumni family and am so thankful that George opened this space for all the brilliant minded individuals to come together. It really is true when you surround yourself with greatness, you will become and have greatness. I have been a part of what is called Transformation Academy with GYOYL going on 3 years now and it has challenged me to break out of my fears, expand my mind and make shift happen. Words cannot explain how much this group has helped me break into the unstoppable person I am today. I also want to thank my family for sticking by me through all the crazy time and giving me the encouragement and support that I needed to be able to continue to make my nonprofit a success. And my family of friends and my board members that have encouraged, supported, and coached me through some of the toughest and best times of my life. Lastly, I want to thank Achieve Systems group who continues to support me on this journey connecting me to revenue generating systems, resources and likeminded brilliant individuals.