October 17, 2019 - In This Issue:
EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!
By Trish Larsen, Executive Director

"Minding Your Mind programs reach 1,000,000 individuals!" This will be the headline that you will see by the end of 2020! Yes, it is an amazing accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated, and we plan to do just that. In this issue we share a glimpse of our new program offerings introduced this year, and a wrap-up of some exiting events that have brought us to new communities. All of these efforts lead to 1,000,000 and far beyond. We know we could not do it without you. Thank you!!

Please read on to see where we have been and what we can all look forward to this year.  Enjoy the fall months!

Grace & Gratitude
Gifts & Grants Received since 
June 2019
Madlyn & Len Abramson
Amcor Rigid Plastics
American Box and Recycling Co.
Atlantic Farms
Martie & Chuck Bernicker
Brendon Pierson Workforce Management
Donna Brooks
Annie Duke & Eric Brooks
Susan & Bob Brown
Brown & Brown Insurance
Canada Dry Delaware Valley Bottling Company
Chris Morrissey Foundation
Chris Smith Realty
Circle BMW
Cozen O'Connor Foundation, Inc.
The Craig Family
Lisa Erlbaum
Vicki & Gary Erlbaum
Erlbaum Family Foundation
Finch Brands LLC
George Clay Fire Company
Gladwyne Partners
Joseph Gomes
Graham Partners, Inc.
Ruth Harms
Sandy & Roger Harrison
Hatteras Printing
HMP Global
Iberia Foods Corp.
In Memory of Jake Weber
In Memory of Jeremy David Hunn & Bob Hunn
In Memory of Jon Liguori
In Memory of Laurie Tobia
In Memory of Mark Palermo
JP Hogan
Jill & Chip Kurtzman
Kyle Ambrogi Foundation Inc.
Elaine & Ken Langone
Ellyn & Seth Lehr
Susan & Paul Lichtman
M&T Bank
The Marx Family
MCE Associates
Cynthia & William McKernan
The Metcalf Family
The Lawrence Mieras Family
Mill Creek Capital Advisors LLC
Mullooly Asset Management, Inc.
Remembering TJ
The Rubber Ducky Organization
Leslie & Jim Ryan
The Saramar Charitable Fund
Pam & Tony Schneider
Barry Schwartz
The Schwartz Creed Foundation
The Scotto Family
Seed to Sprout
The Shipley School
Judy Munroe & Steve Sidewater
Snook Family Foundation
Mr. & Mrs. Vincent Tague
Reggie & Frank Thomas
Tzedakah Foundation
Universal Health Services
Harriet Gerson Rash & Ben Zuckerman
Minding Your Mind Executive Director Trish Larsen accepts a grant from  WSFS Bank on the main stage at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women on October 2, 2019.
Regional Updates
Minding Your Mind New England had such a successful year last year, we've had to expand our staff and speakers! We are excited to welcome our newest Young Adult Speaker, Morgan. Morgan is a mental health advocate who shares her story of resilience through navigating healthy relationships and battling anxiety, depression, and disordered eating. We'd also like to warmly welcome our Western, MA clinician, Emma Roderick, LICSW, and our Development Manager, Sunny Stich. 

We are honored to announce our partnership with KyleCares, a non-profit committed to financially assist schools with the implementation of mental health awareness and suicide prevention programs.

¡Nosotros hablamos español! Presented by MYM's Dulce Orozcoour introduction to mental health program, Just Talk About It, is available in Spanish for the Greater Boston and South Shore areas.

Our presence throughout New England continues to grow with a sharp increase in the number of requests for programs in Connecticut. Jordan Burnham was a featured speaker in Quinnipiac University's recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week and supporting students during midterms. His presentation was highlighted in this article from The Quinnipiac Chronicle.

JOIN OUR TEAM! We are searching for new speakers to specifically serve Greater Boston and communities in Eastern Massachusetts. If you are interested in learning more, please contact New England regional director Michelle Drolsbaugh at michelle@mindingyourmind.org
"Our first ACOLNJ was an incredible success and a truly beautiful night (see full article in Looking Back). I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to bring such a special night to the community in which I grew up--a community that has been through a lot. Thanks to the committee, our sponsors, and to those who attended and supported, we sold out the event and exceeded our fundraising goal! I'm already looking forward to next year." ~ Guy Iacono, New Jersey & New York Director

Interested in joining the committee for next year? Contact Guy:  guy@mindingyourmind.org
New Jersey & New York Director Guy Iacono accepts a proclamation from the Monmouth County Freeholders recognizing Minding Your Mind for efforts in suicide prevention.

DID YOU KNOW...that we are looking for speakers to serve our New Jersey/New York region? If you are interested in sharing your personal story, please contact Guy Iacono , New Jersey regional director
October 19, 2019
Main Line NAMI on the Move
Ardmore, PA
October 20, 2019
Out of the Darkness Walk
Wilmington, DE
October 22, 2019
Providence College - Jordan Burnham
Providence, RI 
Warwick, RI

October 25, 2019
MSAA MIAA 23rd Annual Wellness Summit Westborough, MA
October 29, 2019
Secret Lives of Teens & Tweens
Worcester, MA
Killington, VT

November 6 - 8, 2019
MASC & MASS Annual Joint Conference Hyannis, MA
November 4, 2019
PA SADD Conference
Champion, PA

November 7, 2019
18th Annual Mental Health Conference
Wilmington, DE

November 22, 2019
Pittsburgh, PA
Follow MYM on Social Media
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MYM hosts an active and ever-growing community of individuals who are interested in making mental health education a priority in our society. We have over 5,000 followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and there is always room for one more. On our networks we share information about events, partnerships, and timely news and articles relevant to the mental health community. Come see what everyone is talking about! 

Looking Back
A Celebration of Life 
Comes to New Jersey
MYM's Guy Iacono presents Lisa Tobia with the Champion of Hope Award.
On Thursday, September 26, 2019, more than 350 people gathered at the Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club for the first ever A Celebration of Life: New Jersey. Led by a committee of local young professionals and friends, this event brought with it much history and even more meaning. A Celebration of Life began in 2011 to honor the memory of Kyle Craig, a 21-year-old student at Vanderbilt University who took his life in May of 2010. Kyle was a dynamic friend to many; a bright, handsome, and gifted individual across music and athletics, but whose strength of character enabled his growing struggles to be hidden from view. Spring Lake hosting the first of these events in New Jersey had significant meaning, as Kyle was raised in the town and his family remains deeply embedded in the community.

The evening honored the memory of Laurie Tobia, a young adult from Spring Lake who was lost to suicide earlier this year. Laurie's sister, Lisa Tobia, was chairperson for the event and received the Champion of Hope Award.  Attendees enjoyed delicious food, exciting raffle prizes, and danced to the sounds of DJZA. Proceeds from ticket sales and raffle purchases benefit Minding Your Mind mental health education programs and suicide prevention training in New Jersey.  See photos and read more...

A Celebration of Life: New Jersey planning committee.
Young Writers and Artists Inspired by Minding Your Mind Speaker
Book written by Lisa Yau's fifth grade students at Eliza B. Kirkbride School.
Earlier this year, Minding Your Mind speaker Jordan Burnham wasn't sure exactly what to expect when he arrived at an elementary school for one of his presentations.  Jordan typically shares his story with students in middle schools, high schools, and universities. Would fifth graders relate to his story? Would they understand the message he was trying to convey? The outcome was more than he ever contemplated. 

After hearing Jordan speak as part of their class's year-long research into mental health, the students created a book of poems and artwork, hoping to inspire their classmates to know they aren't alone and dedicated "to people who feel the unbearable." The first poem in the book, titled  "Everyone Is Here for You," is dedicated to Jordan.  "In all of my years of speaking, this is one of the most gratifying and personally moving responses I have received from a group of students," shared Jordan.   Read more ...
Minding Your Mind Speaker Headlines Alabama Suicide Prevention Conference
MYM speaker Andrew Onimus at Troy University.

In September, Troy University's Suicide Prevention Coalition hosted the first ever  Alabama Higher Education Suicide Prevention Conference in  Montgomery, AL. Designed for  attendees to increase their knowledge about suicide risk factors and high-risk populations through workshops and seminars.  MYM's Andrew Onimus  was the  keynote speaker.  "Andrew was the highlight of the conference. We were truly excited to have such a inspirational story of struggle and hope at our first Alabama Higher Education Suicide Prevention Conference," shared Kanessa Doss, COE Director of Operations - Montgomery Campus/ Associate Professor, Psychology, of Troy University. Read more...

Andrew with conference organizers.

LookingForward2 Looking Forward
MYM Launches New Programs 
in all Regions
Kind Minds for Elementary Schools in PA

Recent studies show that children benefit from being taught empathy.  Creating awareness about mental wellness can begin in elementary school. This interactive presentation teaches children how to identify their emotions, engage in kind acts, and build empathy, increasing their understanding of how their emotions impact their thoughts and behaviors.

Designed for a classroom setting of students in grades K-4, Kind Minds teaches children how to identify and regulate their emotions, display kind responses and positive behaviors to peers, and enhance their self-esteem through meaningful connections. Learn more and book a program...
Social Emotional Learning & Mindfulness  in Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island

When children learn: social awareness, self-management, responsibility, decision making, impulse control, and empathy...The result is: improved relationships, positive behavior, academic progress, confidence, awareness, and resilience. The focus of this program is understanding how to support the development of these skills in youth to decrease stress and anxietyimprove behavior and attention, and support compassionate and respectful relationships. The results allow for the development of a calmer and more compassionate school, home, and community environment. Learn more and book a program...
Mindfulness in New Jersey & New York
Guy Iacono, LCSW
Mindfulness shifts how we relate with our experience, encouraging us to bring a curious, nonjudgmental attitude to each moment and each situation. This openness encourages creative problem solving, resiliency, perspective taking, and promotes positive engagement. What's more, mindfulness is a simple, practical, but powerful technique for recognizing and relieving stress and promoting work/life balance.  Incorporating mindfulness instruction into your curriculum or your workplace wellness program can lead to benefits to not only the individuals who participate but the entire organization as well.  Learn more and book a program...
LookingForward2 Ovations

" The presentations were fantastic. I am so happy that MYM presenters spoke with our students. Based on student feedback, the take away for many was that they are not alone and that anyone can experience mental health issues, but there is a road to recovery, as well. Communication is key in getting help and while there may not be immediate resolution, the continued attempt at a healthy mindset and coping strategies can result in a hopeful outlook and improved daily function."
Many of Minding Your Mind's programs are provided on a donation basis. The majority of our financing is derived from fundraising events, personal contributions, and charitable grants, allowing us to serve organizations that may not be able to donate.

With a tax-deductible gift, you can help us share the message of mental wellness with more students and communities, promoting the understanding that leads to seeking help and ending stigma.
Featured Speaker
Sarika inspires others to accept themselves for who they are and to appreciate each and every quality they possess, regardless of social norms. 
Ever since she can remember, Sarika held herself to impossible standards. She strived to be the best in all that she did, hoping to please those around her. Soon she became dependent on others' approval for her own self-confidence. When she began to notice her sadness from the constant internal stress she was creating, she attempted to share her emotions with those around her. However, the way people reacted to these revelations was different than how they reacted to her achievements, and not in a positive way. Stung by that reception, she decided to keep her feelings hidden.

Sarika searched for approval anywhere she could find, either through praise from her teachers or acceptance from her peers. Still, she was not able to feel truly okay; she started to hate who she was and the way she looked, and her sleeping and eating patterns changed. Things became even worse when she began being cyberbullied. In an attempt to feel that she had control over something in her life, she began to self-harm, which ultimately led to a suicide attempt. 

Sarika desired an escape from her life as it was and became thrilled when she was accepted into NYU. When she learned that even her acceptance to a world-renowned university was receiving criticism, she finally realized that she could no longer leave her self-worth in the hands of others. Sarika began to understand for that trying to be "perfect" was an unrealistic goal; nobody is perfect, and nobody can control how other people perceive them.  She finally accepted that she was worth something, and that she deserved to be happy. This led Sarika to therapy, where she discovered the power of understanding and working through her emotions, rather than pushing them away. 

To schedule a program with Sarika for your school or community, please  click here.