December 10, 2021 | Vol. 29
Warmth & Kindness
Warmth and kindness are words that come to mind in the holiday season. The colder days prompt us to seek out warm spots and cozy gatherings, and the holidays always seem to represent the spirit of kindness. This is the experience of many during the holidays, but I see extraordinary acts of kindness throughout the entire year.

I wish I could choose just one story to highlight here but it is truly impossible. There are too many people and innumerable circumstances that have astonished us this year, and I would not be able to do justice to the significance of them all. What I can say is that every single one has impacted someone's life.

I am humbled when I consider how I could possibly express my gratitude for the incredible kindness and generosity of our supporters year after year. I am reminded every day of the goodness in people and am amazed by their spirit and desire to help and support others by championing our mission. My heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed time, talent, or resources to us through this very different year. 

Warmest wishes for a healthy and peace-filled holiday season. Thank you for your kindness.

All my best,
Trish Larsen
Executive Director
What's New?
Jordan Burnham in National Media Addressing Rising Suicide Rates Among Black Youth
Recently published studies have found a significant rise in self-reported suicide attempts among Black adolescents, while the prevalence of attempts did not change significantly among those of other races and ethnicities. In an effort to look deeper into those statistics, Minding Your Mind's Jordan Burnham was interviewed for The New York Times article "Why Are More Black Kids Suicidal? A Search for Answers."

On the heels of that article, MSNBC host Tiffany Cross welcomed Jordan on MSNBC's The Cross Connection with Tiffany Cross to discuss this increase and what factors are contributing to this spike in suicides among young People of Color, getting help to those who need it, and what advice can be given to those who find themselves struggling.

Insight from MYM speakers and clinicians is becoming more recognized in local and national press. If you are interested in speaking to a member of the MYM team, contact us for press requests.
Help Minding Your Mind Win!
Univest $5,000 Caring for Community Giveaway
‘Tis the Season for Univest's annual $5,000 Caring for Community Giveaway. Each year, Univest asks its customers and community members which local nonprofit deserves financial assistance from the Committed to Local philanthropic giving program. YOU can nominate Minding Your Mind and help us receive a $5,000 grant! Here's how:

  • Write "Minding Your Mind" in the comment section of the post promoting the Caring for Community Giveaway on Univest’s Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn

  • Tweet "Minding Your Mind" @UnivestCorp using #CaringForCommunity.

  • Each comment or Tweet counts as one entry. You can go to the giving posts on each platform once every day and write "Minding Your Mind" from now through December 31. 

  • The winning nonprofit will be randomly selected from all entries.
A Year of #LivetoTell
On December 1, 2020, we launched #LivetoTell with the goal of providing a platform for everyday people to share their mental health stories to help others. We met people from all over the world and were inspired by the raw honesty and magnificent resilience shown in every submission. We learned what we always suspected: no matter where one lives or the circumstances of one's experience, we all have more in common than not.

For the coming year, we are going to put a pause on accepting new submissions. Instead, we are going to continue sharing from our #LivetoTell library, reinforcing these powerful and beautiful messages. Remember that whatever your story is, it matters because YOU matter. 
"Taco 'Bout It" Encourages Conversations Around
Mental Health
We introduced you to "Taco 'Bout It" a few months ago - it's a card game created by a Philadelphia-area high school student with the goal of inspiring people to address their mental health by lowering the stakes of these stressful conversations through gameplay. It's really creative and clever!

Chuck has made some revisions based on suggestions from focus groups and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to make his dream a reality. Please use the link below to see a video about the project and, if you are able, support this student entrepreneur who wants to change the game around mental health conversations.
Meet Minding Your Mind's Newest Young Adult Speaker
Wes always wanted to be perfect and accepted by others, even if it meant hiding his true emotions under the surface. As a kid growing up in a predominantly white suburban neighborhood, Wes felt he needed to strive for nothing short of perfection and often felt not good enough. More importantly, he never felt like he belonged. Wes began to believe that he needed external validation to prove that he was good enough. His constant pursuit of perfection and the validation from others led to many struggles.

Wes now lives a life where he accepts, understands, and manages his anxiety instead of suppressing it. He is able to show his humor, warmth, and his authentic self. Most importantly, he hopes to inspire others to feel less ashamed of their own mental health challenges and find a way to validate themselves.

Wes is based in the Greater Boston area and is available for in-person and virtual presentations anywhere Minding Your Mind is invited to speak.
MVW13 2nd Annual Coast-to-Coast Half Marathon Held on 11.24.2021
For the second year in a row, friends and family of Major Van Winkle ran, walked, biked, moved in some way through 13 miles while listening to Major's music to raise funds that provide Minding Your Mind's mental health education and suicide prevention training programs to underserved schools in the Philadelphia region.

Co-chaired by Erin McElroy and Michaela Shea, the 2nd Annual MVW13 Coast-to-Coast Half Marathon raised over $8,500. "We had 139 people participate from 17 states and five countries, all playing Major's music and moving their bodies," shared McElroy. You can hear Major's music and watch scenes from this year's MVW13 in the video above.

Major Van Winkle was a Philadelphia native and significant presence in the Philadelphia music scene. Use the link below to read more about Major and the genesis of the MVW13 Coast-to-Coast Half Marathon.
Become a Minding Your Mind Young Adult Speaker
Minding Your Mind is actively recruiting new speakers. If you are, or know or know someone who is, a young adult who has come through a mental health crisis, are in a productive recovery process, and are interested in sharing your story to inspire others, please contact us.
More For You
In Case You Missed It...
"...The United States surgeon general on Tuesday warned that young people are facing “devastating” mental health effects as a result of the challenges experienced by their generation, including the coronavirus pandemic..."

Our programs are needed more than ever. Make a donation to support our mission, or book a mental health education or suicide prevention training program for your school, community, or company at

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