The Elgin Foundation
Who We Are

Elgin was an amazing young man with an incredible personality and a spirit that could light up any room. His radiant smile warmed the hearts of those that saw him and he left a long-lasting impression on everyone he came in contact with. Simply put, he was amazing!

As an adolescent, Elgin showed (what we now know to be) small signs of mental health distress. Growing up in a world that focused on physical perfection, Elgin developed an eating disorder at age 15. In high school, Elgin shared with me that he was sad because he did not conform to the "norm". He was teased due to his weight and sexual identity. Always by his side, his high school friends saw him for the precious gem that he was and walked with him on his journey towards happiness. While in college, he appeared happy, had many friends and pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He’d later shared with me that he continued to live with depression, and later anxiety.

He died in March of 2012 by suicide.

For many years I struggled with my own mental health wellness as I attempted to make sense of what happened to Elgin's beautiful soul. I blamed myself for failing to see the signs. I realized that I needed to do more to help others avoid the horror that my family and I have endured.

On what would have been Elgin's 28th birthday, August 27, 2016, I created The Elgin Foundation for Wellness - a 501(c)(3) non profit organization committed to empowering each of us to seek a healthier mind, body and spirit.

RISE describes our efforts as an organization:
  • Support mental health RESEARCH

  • IMPACT - increase mental health awareness and reduce the rate of suicide locally, nationally and globally

  • Provide SCHOLARSHIPS to high school seniors interested in studying mental health wellness

  • EDUCATE the community about the importance of self care and knowing when to seek help
The Founder
Melitta Johnson is the Founder and Board Chair of The Elgin Foundation for Wellness.

Melitta is an experienced leader in healthcare services administration and operations management. With over 15 years of experience, Melitta has been a trailblazer in business development, strategic planning, healthcare policy development, management consulting, risk management, revenue cycle, budgetary and systems implementation management.

Melitta Johnson established The Elgin Foundation for Wellness, a 501(c)3 non profit organization, in memory of her brother, Elgin Stafford, who lost his battle with mental illness to suicide. Melitta is a health and wellness ambassador and aims to normalize mental health conversations to eliminate stigma, promote mental health awareness and prevent suicide.

Melitta Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Southern California (USC). She lives in southern California with her husband and 3 children. She enjoys yoga, ballet, cycling, spending time with family and friends and serving as a generational wealth ambassador as a real estate consultant.

Meet The Board

Melitta A. Johnson, MHA Founder, Board Chair

Shannon Troutman, MBA Vice Chair & Secretary

Michelle Eleby, MHA, MSG Treasurer

Marsha L. Martinson, MD Parliamentarian

Annie E. Stafford General Board Member

Orlando M. Johnson, M.Ed General Board Member

Kameelah Waheed Wilkerson, MFT General Board Member

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Help & Support
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide,
call the suicide prevention lifeline at 800-273-TALK.
In the event of a mental health crisis, call NAMI at 800-950-NAMI.
Suicide Prevention
Lifeline
National Alliance on
Mental Illness (NAMI)

The Elgin Foundation



For mental crisis call 1-800-273-TALK

335 East Albertoni Street, Suite 200-606 | Carson, CA 90746 | 424-253-6375 | contactus@theelginfoundation.org