A Celebration of Life: Philadelphia 2017

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. The grief over his shocking loss has been transformed into action. Beginning in Nashville, and expanding to New York City and Philadelphia, this annual event has reached thousands of individuals and raised over $275,000 for Minding Your Mind.

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.

Speaker Drew Bergman featured in SAVVY Mainline

We are so grateful to Caroline O’Halloran at SAVVY Main Line for her generous coverage of Drew’s powerful story. We are so proud of all of our speakers for the work they do and the truths they tell every single day. They change – and save – lives. Please take a moment to reach her article covering Drew’s story, his commitment to the work we do at Minding Your Mind, and the Celebration of Life that he brought to Philadelphia to continue spreading the message of hope.

The full article can be found here- http://savvymainline.com/2016/05/18/prep-12-drew-bergman-telling-teens-bluefin-bala-delsette-debuts-ardmore-waiting-willows/