In this issue:
Newton South High School senior Tema Siegal
What's Trending Now

In May, the Newton Rotary held its annual talent show for local high school students. Winners donate their prizes to a local nonprofit. This year's first-place winner is Tema Siegal, a graduating senior at Newton South High School. Tema performed an original song she wrote in tribute to her friend who has anxiety and depression. Tema saw Minding Your Mind's presentation at Newton South High and was so moved by the talk that she is donating her award to Minding Your Mind. 

"I have many close friends with various forms and combinations of mental illness.  Fortunately, they live in a somewhat educated and supportive community," shares Tema. "But when I see my friends on their worst days, the days when even unconditional love and acceptance does little to keep them afloat, I think of those without a supportive community, and I can't imagine how they get by without a single person capable of understanding their experience. I chose to donate to Minding Your Mind because I want those people to have a community that can be compassionate towards them at the very least."

We are incredibly grateful to Tema for her generosity. One in four young people will be diagnosed with a mental health condition this year. While our speakers stories are directly relateable to that one, they are there with a message to those other three, too: support your friends. Tema is a shining example of what young people can do to change the conversation and end stigma around mental health.
Where We've Been

In May, McLean Hospital hosted the  CHNA 17 event "Youth Mental Health: Exploring the Lived Experience with Minding Your Mind." MYM Clinical Director, Sheila Gillin, LCSW, and MYM speaker Jordan Burnham spoke about racial trauma as it relates to mental health and how people of color have a more difficult time accessing help when they are in crisis. Jordan shared his personal story of overcoming struggles and how those struggles affected his mental health.

MYM Massachusetts Community Education and Outreach Manager Karen Albert participates in the Health Fair at  St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers.
What People Are Saying

"Our school had the honor of hosting Melissa for an all-school assembly on May 30th. It was one of the most powerful and informative assemblies we have had at our school. Melissa had the difficult task of keeping 600 middle-schoolers engaged for an hour at the end of the day after a holiday weekend! Needless to say, the kids had the wiggles as we entered the auditorium, but truthfully, after five minutes of her story, she had them wrapped around her finger; you could have heard a pin drop. She knew when to engage them with Q&A, and when to pause for effect. She was an excellent and motivational speaker. 

After the assembly, I had a 6th grade boy approach me to say "you know Melissa's story? That's me, so I know I have to be brave and get some help." I asked him if he wanted to speak to her and he said yes. She was so kind and empowering to him; I know she changed his life for the better that day.  After the assembly, Melissa then spoke to our staff and gave them helpful advice for their students. 

We then had a parent night at which she was joined by Jessica, and we had excellent parent responses to their information and advice. It was an intense and powerful day for us here at school, and we came away with a great deal of knowledge and inspiration.  Thank you for sharing all you did with us, we will keep vigilant for kids in need and keep your message of hope alive."

Paula Gray, Guidance Counselor, O'Maley Innovation Middle School


In the Spotlight

Meet Meghan... 
Born in a small New England town, Meghan spent most of her days expressing herself creatively and artistically. As early as kindergarten, anxiety and stress were a part of her life. A drastic change came during her teenage years, when the social pressure in school and tensions at home started to increase. She began to experience negative self-talk and body image, which led her to practicing negative coping skills as her feelings of anxiety and depression increased.  

When she was a junior in high school, Meghan reached a point of crisis and desperation. She was faced with a decision: does she get help or to continue down a path of self-harm and despair? Without the tools to ask for help, Meghan felt like she was alone with no hope or direction. In crisis and without support Meghan experienced a bottom where she was forced to ask for help. 

Through professional and peer-based support, Meghan reached a place of stability. Now, Meghan has well-developed positive coping skills and a strong support system to manage life's ups and downs. She enjoys living an abundant life. She is so happy to be in a place where she can share her story and show others that achieving goals is always possible.

Meghan is one of five Massachusetts-based speakers currently in training and will begin her MYM journey during the 2017-2018 school year. If you are or know someone interested in becoming a speaker for Minding Your Mind, please contact Jan Latorre-Stiller at 781.285.6696.
What You Can Do

Book Now for Fall 2017 & Spring 2018
June is the time when we open our calendars for the coming academic year. We are now accepting reservations for programs in Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. Please let us know if you are interested in hosting a presentation(s) by one or more of our speakers, even if you are unsure of the time and date. Schools are encouraged to put in a request for our programs as soon as possible since we continue to experience a tremendous increase in demand for speakers. This school year, we will have completed over 1,250 presentations! 
We can work with you to choose the appropriate programs for your needs. Our goal is to foster an atmosphere that empowers students to change perceptions about mental health issues and encourages help-seeking behaviors. To strengthen the message presented to students, training  is available for school staff and faculty, and professional and parent groups .

Our programs can be held in schools, community centers, religious organizations, college clubs - anywhere a thoughtful group of people can come together to learn more about mental health. Please visit our website at . Here, you will find biographies about our speakers, resources for the community, and testimonials from the schools that we have visited. 

To book a speaker, click on  'Book A Speaker' on the top right of any page of our website, complete the form, and click 'Submit'. Within five to seven business days, you will hear from one of the Minding Your Mind staff members. 

If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact either of us directly. We look forward to working with you to help advance understanding and compassion around mental health issues among all age groups in Massachusetts.

Warm regards,
Jan Latorre-Stiller
Massachusetts Regional Director
(p)  781.285.6696
Karen Albert
Massachusetts Community Education & 
Outreach Manager
(p)  617.431.3240

P.S. Please stay in touch with us!   
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About Minding Your Mind
Minding Your Mind's primary objective is to provide mental health education to adolescents, teens and young adults, their parents, teachers, and school administrators. Our goal is to reduce the stigma and destructive behaviors often associated with mental health issues. The behaviors include, but are not limited to: self-harm, violence, substance abuse, eating disorders, unhealthy relationships, and suicidal ideation. Minding Your Mind's programs move away from crisis-based response to prevention through education. Our evidence-based programs are for students and the adults in their lives to learn ways to identify symptoms, assure them they aren't alone in their feelings, and provide language they can use to ask for help. Learn more at