Honoring Our Grief

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“In Memory: Honoring Our Grief” is a free concert and collective memorial on Sunday, September 25 at 3:45 pm in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Ithaca, 309 North Cayuga Street.

From Ithaca’s Suicide Prevention & Crisis Center:

Some grief is too painful, some losses too difficult to mourn alone.

If you have lost a loved one by suicide, accident, unexpected illness or any other challenging circumstance, you are invited to “In Memory: Honoring Our Grief,” a free concert on Sunday, September 25 at 3:45 pm. The event will take place in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Ithaca, 309 North Cayuga Street.

As one community member said, “I wasn’t able to attend my mother’s funeral, didn’t even know where her ashes had been laid. This concert gives me a place to return to the grieving process that I missed.”

“In Memory: Honoring Our Grief” will begin at 3:45 pm with the creation of a memorial table. You are invited to bring a small memento such as a photograph, sculpture, stuffed animal, or flower that signifies their beloved. You will be greeted and invited to share your story as your memento is placed on the table.

Musical performances will begin at 4:00 pm. Joe Crookston, Abbe Lyons, and Elisa Sciscioli will perform songs of loss and hope, inviting the audience to join in for many of their songs. Ephemera will improvise music based on the memories shared at the memorial table.

Joe Crookston is a songwriter, guitarist, painter, fiddler, slide player, and believer in all things possible. His music has roots in folk and old-timey traditions and features songs that tell deeply emotional stories.

Ephemera is an eclectic group of women who share the love of song and creating improvisational music. They offer performances, monthly circle sings and workshops that build community through vocal improvisation and word play.Cantor

Abbe Lyons is dedicated to enhancing the spiritual and emotional power of music in everyday life and sacred spaces. She draws her repertoire from a wide range of traditional music. Juliette Corazón will join Abbe for harmonies.

Elisa Sciscioli uses singing to create healing connections, a sense of belonging and acceptance. An accomplished singer of soul standards as well as a song writer, she offers singing workshops for personal growth. Elisa will perform with Travis Knapp, Rusty Keeler and Warren Cross.

Created by Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service, this event is free with support from Scott MacLeod and Susan Hack, donor advisors of The Sophie Fund.

For more information, go to IthacaCrisis.org, call 607-272-1505, or write to info@ithacacrisis.org.

Starting the Conversation

Talk to each other… it may save a life…

“Starting the Conversation” is an excellent new guide helping students (and parents) to learn about mental health conditions and signs that need serious attention—and how to talk about them. One in five students will experience a mental health condition in college.

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The guide explains why it is so important to have conversations and create awareness—including among students and their parents.

“Conversations allow you to plan for the unexpected; to know what to do if you develop emotional distress, a mental health condition or if an existing condition worsens. Talking about mental health is important even if you don’t experience a mental health condition because a friend may need help. Students often prefer to confide in a friend before confiding in anyone else—or you may notice that a peer is struggling and you may be able to assist. By learning more, you’ll be better equipped to know what to do if you or a friend is in distress.”

Click here to download “Starting the Conversation.” It was released yesterday for the start of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2016 by the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and The Jed Foundation.

Here’s a sample:

STRESSORS THAT MAY AFFECT MENTAL HEALTH

Relationship breakups

Academic pressures

Poor grades

Financial stress

Social status pressures

Feeling alone or homesick

Feeling marginalized, misunderstood or like you don’t fit in

Concern or worry about your family members at home

Loss of day-to-day family or community support

Drug and alcohol use

Inadequate sleep

Feeling overwhelmed

Grief

Gender and sexuality questioning

Friendship challenges

Sports team losses

Unmet expectations

Read TIME magazine’s report this week on the “Starting the Conversation” guide.

Active Minds is a student organization with branches on college campuses throughout the USA and Canada devoted to “changing the conversation about mental health.” Active Minds is promoting awareness activities this month: click here to read their guide for getting involved.

For parents, a good video to watch is Not My Kid: What Every Parent Should Know. The video was produced by the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.