MYM Speaker Drew Bergman a Finalist for 2016 Philly Health Hero

graphic-for-news

Minding Your Mind’s very own Drew Bergman is one of four finalists for the BeWellPhilly 2016 Health Hero challenge!

He is the only finalist whose platform is directly related to mental health. If Drew wins this challenge, it will bring much-needed attention and awareness to the importance of making mental health as much of a priority as physical health.

You can use this link to read about Drew, watch a video of him speaking about his advocacy, and vote from October 24 – November 7, once every 24 hours. We hope that you will consider taking the time to show your support of our amazing speaker and his mission to change the conversation around mental health. He already is a hero in our eyes – let’s make it official!

Keep Sound Minds President Becomes Part of Minding Your Mind

After eight years of substantive and relevant work within New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the founders and board of directors of Keep Sound Minds (KSM) have made the decision to dissolve the foundation and end outreach and other efforts in the near future.

Based in New Hampshire, the nonprofit charity was founded in 2008 by Danielle and Ken Lambert after the tragic and untimely deaths of their children and Danielle’s sister. KSM’s main goals included mental health awareness, often focusing on suicide prevention projects and programs. Over the past eight years, KSM has worked alongside many quality charitable mental health and advocacy groups. As such, KSM will be donating their remaining net assets to Minding Your Mind, as well as the following like-minded organizations:

Samaritans of Greater Boston: Samaritans has been providing compassionate suicide prevention programs for 40 years. Samaritans’ mission is to reduce the incidence of suicide by alleviating despair, isolation, distress and suicidal feelings among individuals in the Greater Boston community, 24 hours a day; to educate the public about suicide prevention; and to reduce the stigma associated with suicide.

The Connor’s Climb Foundation: The mission of The Connor’s Climb Foundation (CCF) is to provide educational programs directed toward preventing suicide. It does this by raising awareness, reducing stigma, and equipping youth, educators, and communities with tools and resources focused on the vulnerable age group of 10-24 year olds.

Treatment Advocacy Center: the Treatment Advocacy Center is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness. The organization promotes laws, policies, and practices for the delivery of psychiatric care and supports the development of innovative treatments for and research into the causes of severe and persistent psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

“There is a time for everything, in life and in organizations, and we feel that now is the right time to dissolve Keep Sound Minds,” states co-founder Ken Lambert. “While there is still much to do in the realm of mental health awareness and education, Danielle and I, along with our board of directors, feel strongly that KSM made a positive impact in our communities. We want to sincerely thank all of the volunteers, supporters, and donors that have enabled KSM to exist and thrive all these years. It takes a lot to run a charity, but we know that we helped many people over the course of our work. We would not trade this experience, as we have met and spoken to many wonderful people.”

The KSM website and Facebook page will remain up and running for a short time, providing updates on programs provided by Minding Your Mind and the other organizations listed above.

Lambert has been named to the Massachusetts Advisory Board for Minding Your Mind, an organization whose mission it is to provide mental health education that can break the silence and end the stigma and destructive behaviors associated with mental health issues. “We are honored that Ken has chosen us to continue Danielle’s and his legacy of mental health education and suicide prevention in Massachusetts,” says Trish Larsen, executive director for Minding Your Mind. “Ken will be an incredible guide for us with his thoughtful insight and passion to ensure the youth of today have the understanding to change the world of tomorrow.”

Minding Your Mind is hosting a “Meet Minding Your Mind” event on November 16, 2016, 7:00PM at the Newton Free Library. This event is open to the public and will feature a panel discussion with Lambert and Minding Your Mind young adult speakers. To register for this free event visit: mindingyourmind.org/events

Minding Your Mind Brings Nationally-Renown Mental Health Education Programs to Massachusetts

mym-massachusettsIntroductory Event Scheduled for November 16 at Newton Free Public Library

Ardmore, PA (October 18, 2016) — Minding Your Mind, an organization whose mission it is to provide mental health education that can break the silence and end the stigma and destructive behaviors associated with mental health issues, is bringing its highly-recognized set of programs to Massachusetts.

Through the generosity of the Jack Satter Foundation, and modeled after its highly-successful and established programs in the greater Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey regions, Minding Your Mind plans to develop a significant presence and collaborative relationships in Massachusetts to improve the lives of adolescents, teens, and young adults.

“As part of ongoing national outreach, our young-adult speakers have been invited by individual schools and communities throughout New England to speak on mental health and suicide prevention,” shares Trish Larsen, executive director of Minding Your Mind. “We are thrilled to have a permanent presence, providing us the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with schools and communities, and work closely with other like-minded organizations in Massachusetts.”

One such organization is Keep Sound Minds. In 2008, Danielle and Ken Lambert lost their two children and Danielle’s twin sister in an unimaginable incident on a Massachusetts highway. That same year, Danielle and Ken founded Keep Sound Minds to honor their young children and Danielle’s sister, Marci, and to increase awareness about the importance of education and improved treatment of mental health disorders. “Marci and our young children, along with our entire family, have suffered the consequences of misunderstood, unrecognized serious mental illness,” says Ken Lambert, co-founder and president of Keep Sound Minds. “We believe flawed policies and lack of information and education regarding mental health contributed to this tragedy. The goal of Keep Sound Minds has been to change that, and we are impressed with the programs and the young adult speakers of Minding Your Mind.”

Of all its offerings, Minding Your Mind’s Speaker Program is the most popular and requested from schools and communities. The speakers – dynamic young adults who have struggled with mental health issues – visit schools and community groups to share their personal experiences and recovery. The presentations, which are free of charge to the host organization, occur during school assemblies, health classes, workshops, and evening sessions with parents. Issues that are addressed in these presentations include: mood disorders, suicide ideation, eating disorders, addictive behavior, self-harm, and bullying.

Presented to hundreds of thousands of college, high school, and middle school students, the Speaker Program is an evidence-based contact strategy to reduce stigmatized attitudes about mental health issues. Through research conducted by the Scattergood Foundation, statistical analysis of the Speaker Program shows that the program is improving students’ attitudes about seeking mental health services.

Minding Your Mind welcomes the public to an open community forum on Wednesday, November 16, at 7PM in the Newton Free Public Library in Newton, MA. Here, you will have the opportunity to hear from three of Minding Your Mind’s young adult speakers, as well as Ken Lambert of Keep Sound Minds, and meet staff members to discuss how your school or organization can benefit from Minding Your Mind programs. To register for this free event visit: mindingyourmind.org/events.

Teen Suicide Rates in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Youth Suicide Infographic (final) copy

The Montgomery County (PA) Department of Behavioral Health recently released statistics on teen suicides in the county. “While the rate for 15-24-year-olds is lower than any of the adult age groups, it’s over 10 times higher than that of younger children,” as stated in the June 2016 report from the Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Task Force. “So something happens, very suddenly and intensely, to youth as they move from elementary/middle school age to high school/college age. And despite the low percentage of completed suicides in this age group, anecdotal data shows the percentage of youth struggling is far higher.”

In a poll conducted by Hope 4 Tomorrow, students were asked to respond to the following question: “Have you ever had thoughts of wanting to end your life?” Possible answers were: Yes, at some point; Maybe, but unsure if I wanted to die; No, Never.

53% said “Yes” or “Maybe”. This suggests the number of young people struggling is much higher than those who actually complete suicide.

The implications are as follows:

  • The large number of students reporting thoughts of suicide is much larger than those who actually complete suicide
  • This suggests that while the overall suicide rate for young people is (comparably) low, the need to provide support for this age group remains high
  • Suicide-prevention interventions may have unintended positive effects outside of suicide rate reduction

Minding Your Mind offers suicide prevention training for schools and communities. Please use the “Book A Speaker” link at the top of this page to schedule a program.

Data provided by the Montgomery County Suicide Statistics and Data Presentation, published June 2016.

Minding Your Mind Granted Charity Entries for the 2016 Blue Cross Broad Street Run

Runners guaranteed entry and given a chance to help others

Ardmore, PA (February 23, 2016)Minding Your Mind has been granted four charity entries for the 2016 Blue Cross Broad Street Run. The race will take place on Sunday, May 1, 2016.

“Minding Your Mind is grateful to the Blue Cross Broad Street Run for this generous opportunity,” said Trish Larsen, the organization’s executive director. “The Blue Cross Broad Street Run is the largest ten-mile race in the United States, and an event revered in the Philadelphia region.  Runners who’ve dreamed of an opportunity to participate in this iconic race can partner with Minding Your Mind to achieve their personal goals, and help Minding Your Mind achieve ours.”

Minding Your Mind’s primary objective is to provide mental health education to adolescents, teens and young adults, their parents, teachers, and school administrators. The goal is to reduce the stigma and destructive behaviors often associated with mental health issues and illnesses.  Educational programs provide information regarding signs and symptoms of these disorders, in addition to stressing that they are treatable and treatment is available.

The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation’s Blue Cross Broad Street Run began in 1980 with 1,500 runners and grew over the years to 2015’s total of over 41,000 registrants.  Racers who qualify for the four charity entries belonging to Minding Your Mind will be assigned a bib number in exchange for raising a minimum of $500 in support of Minding Your Mind.  Interested runners must contact Minding Your Mind by March 30, 2016.

 

About the Blue Cross Broad Street Run  The Blue Cross Broad Street Run is owned and managed by the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department with the cooperation of city agencies and more than 90 volunteer groups. The race is always held the first Sunday in May, and the course includes a variety of Philadelphia neighborhoods along Broad Street. The race raises funds for the American Cancer Society and supports numerous community and charity programs throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.

 

Heisman Trophy Winner, Ricky Williams, Unveils Power to Overcome Social Anxiety during Exclusive Event Hosted by Minding Your Mind

Retired NFL Running Back Ricky William plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Dr. Judith Beck and Mental Health Advocate Jackie Ricciardi Examine Hot Topic of Social Anxiety and Performance Based Expectations that Lead to Stress and Avoidance Behaviors

Ardmore, PA (February 9, 2016) — Minding Your Mind, the Philadelphia-based organization whose mission it is to provide mental health education to adolescents, teens and young adults, their parents, teachers and school administrators, hosts Heisman Trophy winner and acclaimed NFL superstar Ricky Williams, to examine his very personal experience conquering social anxiety. This topical event that explores mental health and the performance expectations of athletes takes place Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30PM at The Harrison Auditorium of the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at The University of Pennsylvania.  To further explore this widely experienced and often debilitating mental health issue that leads to extreme avoidance behaviors, Williams will be joined by Philadelphia’s renowned cognitive behavioral therapist Dr. Judith Beck of the Beck Institute and Minding Your Mind speaker Jackie Ricciardi.

Ricky Williams retired from professional football when he realized the unhealthy effect of living with social anxiety and pursued his greatest accomplishment to date by following his body’s demands for rest and healing. In a conversation with Minding Your Mind, Ricky shares, “expectations are for athletes to be extroverted and the life of the party. These are expectations that didn’t match me as a person. Social anxiety tells you that everyone is looking at you and talking about you. Once I was in the NFL, they really were. It became overwhelming.”

According to Ricky, his time away from the NFL lead to a life-altering awareness that, “created space for me that was truly transformational.” Since his retirement in 2012, Ricky has been devoted to understanding, integrating, and deepening his journey both inward and out.  His profound and simple message has helped countless people throughout the world find inner peace, more creative space, and greater fulfillment in their lives.  At the core of his message is the statement: You are an Infinite Being having a human experience.  Through straightforward advice and techniques, Ricky has guided many toward growing into “Being”, lessons directly from someone who has been through a life’s journey.

“Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown in numerous research studies to be a very effective treatment for this often misunderstood disorder. Social anxiety goes beyond shyness or being introverted and can lead to significant suffering. Fortunately, with treatment, people can overcome this disorder and lead a fulfilling life,” shared Dr. Judith Beck of Philadelphia’s internationally renowned Beck Institute whose mission is to encourage the growth and dissemination of CBT throughout the world through leadership in the field and through the provision of professional training, outpatient clinical services and research.

Minding Your Mind speaker Jackie Ricciardi struggled with depression, anxiety and chronic self-injury from the time she was six years old. Jackie shares, “One in four teens will experience a mental health issue this year, but less than 20% of them will actually seek treatment. The rest will go untreated, voiceless. Our speakers set out each day to show people that there is a promising, bright future beyond the temporary hopelessness of a mental health issue.  I often wonder how my journey through the teen years would have been different if I had the opportunity to hear a Minding Your Mind speaker in middle school. All students who are struggling need to know they are not alone in feeling this way, that help is available, and that even with my imperfections, I am enough.”

This special event is hosted and presented by Minding Your Mind, made possible by the Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety and is simultaneously held in conjunction with Philadelphia’s special hosting of the 2016 Anxiety and Depression Conference of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), which begins on March 31.

To register for this event please visit http://mindingyourmind.org/event/no-more-running/ .

The event will be held Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 6:30pm in the Harrison Auditorium at the Penn Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia PA 19104. Admittance is free for students and adults, and 2 CEU credits will be given to registered social workers for a fee of $20.

About Minding Your Mind

Minding Your Mind was incorporated in 2007 in response to the void of mental health education available to teachers and students in Pennsylvania.  In the 2014-2015 academic year, Minding Your Mind completed 805 presentations to over 76,500 students in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and beyond. Its speakers have been invited to the White House and the United Nations, as well as featured on Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, and ESPN.  Each speaker addresses the need to find healthy coping skills and emphasizes the strength found in seeking treatment.  Minding Your Mind’s goal is to break the silence, move away from crisis-based response to prevention through education, and reduce the stigma and destructive behaviors often associated with mental health issues and illnesses.  To learn more and support this mission, visit www.mindingyourmind.org.

About the Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety (AKFSA)

The Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety’s mission is to educate social anxiety sufferers, mental health professionals, physicians, teachers, coaches, clergy, friends, family and the general public about the diagnosis and treatment of social anxiety. Foundation grants provide support to organizations focused on educational and outreach initiatives improving knowledge about and the treatment of social anxiety disorder. Please visit www.akfsa.org to learn more.