February 17, 2021 | Vol. 26
Hope Springs Eternal
So much has happened since our last newsletter, just two short months ago! The VERY different 2020 holiday celebrations are behind us and we look to the spring with the promise of longer, sunnier days. February brings much to celebrate: Black History Month, Valentine's Day, and the promise of the COVID-19 vaccine! However, schools and families continue to grapple with the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. We are so proud that we have been in a position to offer uninterrupted mental health education, support, and guidance to schools and community groups, and that we've been welcomed into many workplaces to help people adjust to their new work-life-pandemic existences. We know that we are helping alleviate stress and lift some of the burden of these very challenging times. I continue to be overwhelmed by your support and I know for sure that we could not do this without you. Thank you!!
Trish Larsen
Executive Director
Black History Month
Jordan knew he wanted to write something for Black History Month. As he began to explore his thoughts and feelings, it came together in the rhythm of poetry. In this #LivetoTell he speaks his poem and the powerful realities he lives every day as a Black man, particularly one who speaks openly about his mental health:
In honor of Black History Month, we are using our social media accounts to highlight the contributions of Black Americans to the fields of psychology and mental health. Follow the series to meet some incredible pioneers and advocates. You can find all of the posts in a single collection on the Press section of our website.
Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day
Teaching Children Emotions, Empathy & Kindness
Learning to identify and express feelings in a positive way helps kids develop the skills they need to manage them effectively. Creating an understanding of what others are feeling and why, and how their own actions can impact others can begin at a very young age. Kind Minds is Minding Your Mind's program designed specifically for students ages 4-10 and focuses on helping children understand emotions, empathy, and kindness.
Kind Minds is being successfully implemented virtually and the reaction has been exceptional; here are some comments about recent Kind Minds programs:

"Suzelle did a great job, our students were super engaged in her lesson. Marissa was fabulous with our students, especially the younger ones (K-2). She was great at adapting her lesson to be age appropriate & her mannerisms/energy really kept our students engaged."
Leonardo Elementary School (NJ)

"Our students and staff enjoyed the MYM program very much! Marissa did a great job engaging the students virtually and the topics were age appropriate and informative!"
Carlstadt Public School (NJ)

"We greatly appreciated the flexibility and tailoring that made the presentation go so well. The way in which the subject matter was covered was developmentally appropriate and engaging."
Herricks School District (NY)

"We have been looking for something fun and educational that is different from the everyday virtual learning and the Kind Minds presentation was the perfect thing! It was so fun for the kids to actually move around, make silly faces and learn some important information."
Harrison Elementary School (NJ)
Looking Back
MYM joins the Phillies to Strike Out the Stigma
Minding Your Mind has been invited to participate in a new community outreach initiative from the Philadelphia Phillies. Strike Out the Stigma focuses on bringing important conversations to the forefront about the value of healthy life habits, supporting those around us, and removing the negative connotation surrounding mental health. The inaugural session was held on Tuesday, February 9, hosted by Phillies director of public affairs, Scott Palmer. MYM's Andrew Onimus and Marissa Marschall gave presentations as part of a discussion that included former MLB pitcher and current Phillies EAP Dickie Noles, Phillies mental skills coach Geoff Miller, and current Phillies outfielder Roman Quinn.
Minding Your Mind Donates Blankets to "Note in a Tote"
Note in a Tote is a non-profit organization that strives to brighten homeless people’s days. Founded by two students at Radnor High School (PA), members make several trips per month into Philadelphia to distribute tote bags filled with toiletries, socks, blankets, and a personalized note to homeless men and women throughout the city. MYM's longtime partner Kramer Drive hosts a collection drive for donated items throughout the month of February. MYM provided 50 blankets and encourages readers to visit (and shop!) Kramer Drive and discover more about this great organization.
"Taco 'Bout It" Aims to Promote Mental Health Conversations
Developed by high school student Chuck Norton, "Taco ‘Bout It" is a game designed to help players feel more comfortable opening up about mental health concerns and starting conversations aimed to end stigma and encourage help-seeking behavior—right up our alley! Minding Your Mind was an early evaluator of the game and continues supporting Chuck as he works to bring this dream to reality. "It’s not necessarily meant to solve all of your troubles," shares Chuck, "but rather to break the tension between adults and kids so that future conversations feel more comfortable."
Minding Your Mind Receives Foundation for MetroWest Youth in Philanthropy Award
Minding Your Mind was selected for the second time as the recipient of a Foundation for MetroWest grant advised by students in the Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program. This grant will be used to provide student mental health programming in the MetroWest (MA) area. The YIP board presented a check to MYM's New England director, Michelle Drollsbaugh, and young adult speaker, Scott Prendergast, during a virtual ceremony on January 28, 2021. YIP is an experiential leadership development program designed to empower and educate local youth to become the MetroWest community’s next generation of philanthropists. Over the past 20 years YIP has grown to become the largest and oldest youth philanthropy education program in the country. 
Super Bowl Pool Benefits MYM
Even in these times when small businesses are doing all they can to survive, many continue giving back to their communities. Out There Outfitters in Wayne, PA, created a Super Bowl Pool for their customers with proceeds donated to Minding Your Mind. We are grateful for their support and the generosity of a winner who donated his prize to us as well! Please remember to support the local businesses in your community whenever you are able; many—including OTO!— provide online shopping with delivery or curbside pick-up.
Looking Ahead
Join us on 2/24 for "Finding Hope: Supporting Mental Health During COVID-19"
Minding Your Mind was chosen by the First Lady of Conshohocken, PA, to lead a virtual event on Wednesday, February 24 at 7pm. The goal is to help the community find hope and resources for their mental wellness during COVID-19. Please join us by registering now!
Bringing Minding Your Mind
to Florida
After years of interest by donors and healthcare organizations, Minding Your Mind has embarked on an effort to bring our programs to schools and communities in Florida. Tapped with this task is Guy Iacono, LCSW and MYM's New Jersey & New York director. MYM's transition to virtual programs last March opens up the opportunity to provide programs in schools without the previous geographic limitations. If you are or know someone in Florida who may be interested in helping Minding Your Mind, please contact Guy.
Community Conversations "Looking Forward to Our New Normal: Transitioning Back to Work, School &
Socializing in Person"
The pandemic has presented us with many challenges including fear, isolation, and loneliness. What happens when we head out into a post-pandemic world? How do we lay the groundwork to focus on our own self care? Do we know what it means to acknowledge when we are not okay? What can we do to seek help as we adjust to the new normal?

On Wednesday, March 3, 2021 @7pm ET please join Sheila Gillin, Minding Your Mind Clinical Director, for a virtual discussion about the challenges ahead for all of us as we transition back to work, back to school, and back to socializing and interacting in person.
No Parties? No Problem! MYM's Philadelphia
Young Professionals Board Gets Creative
For years, Minding Your Mind's Philadelphia Young Professionals Board has presented A Celebration of Life: Philadelphia, had a team in the Broad Street Run, hosted tailgates, yoga happy hours, cycling rides—many gatherings to connect young professionals with each other and Minding Your Mind. Like everything else in 2020, all of that changed. In the midst of this uncertainty and with hope on the horizon, the Board came together to re-connect and re-imagine what they can do in 2021. Keep your eyes open for a March Madness bracket pool and a 5K A Celebration of Life Movement Challenge in May. They've created their own Instagram page where you can keep up-to-date on their activities and reach out to get involved: @youngphillymym. Stay tuned for more!
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