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A Culture of Wellness

Locally and nationally, heightened attention is paid to mental health issues, especially in light of increased suicide rates announced by the CDC in 2016. But what about wellness? This subject was explored in a panel discussion during the fourth annual Community Conversations on Mental Health: A Culture of Wellness on Tuesday, October 25th at 7 pm in the Borg-Warner Room of the Tompkins County Public Library, 101 E. Green Street in downtown Ithaca. Over 60 people attended the program.

 The panel members represented a range of cultural and institutional perspectives, introducing diverse perspectives on the concept of wellness. Speakers included Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director and Mental Health Commissioner of Tompkins County; Tenzin Choesang, Board President and Teacher, of the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies; Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, a Cornell Phd student, hip-hop artist known as “Sammus”, and member of Black Lives Matter; Sheila McCue, LCSW, director of After Trauma Services at Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service and a psychotherapist in private practice.

Sheila McCue, director of After Trauma Services at Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service says, “This year we focused on the world around us and how that impacts mental health. We looked at a preventative approach to mental health care; sharing experiences of organizing for social change and its impact on mental health; explored how meditation and spiritual practices impact the quality of our lives; and furthered understanding the impact of life’s traumas and how to heal.”

Community Conversations on Mental Health is an annual collaborative project, co-hosted by Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service (SPCS), The Mental Health Association and The Ithaca Area Therapist’s Group.