A Voice at the Table Continues Wellness Workshops in Western MA for Families Impacted by a Suicidal Crisis

Wellness Workshop Table

Pioneer Valley

A Voice at the Table

MCSP Pioneer Valley Suicide Prevention Coalition continues peer2peer wellness support project for families.

There will be moments when the sharing exchange may be serious or sad. There will be just as many times where laughter will rule. ”
— Annemarie Matulis
SPRINGFIELD, MA, UNITED STATES, October 11, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- “When your loved one has had a suicidal crisis and things have quieted down, how do you bring yourself back from your own roller coaster of emotions to find at least some inner peace?” That was one of the questions posed during a Saturday morning wellness workshop in September by facilitator Annemarie Matulis. A small group from the Pioneer Valley/Western Massachusetts area sat around the virtual Zoom table. The title of the exercise is “What? Me Color?” It’s about what do we each use to help calm ourselves down so we can better support our loved ones.

“It’s the Oxygen Mask Axiom,” added Matulis, “and it’s not easy.” Taking care of a loved one first in a suicidal crisis is instinctual for most of us. Impacted family and close friends lose sight of the “oxygen mask,” that they need to put that on themselves first. The family and close friends of suicide attempt survivors and other forms of suicidal crisis, struggle to find their way free from the anxiety and stress, darkness and anger, frustration, and a sense of helplessness to find their own way to the path of freedom from that fear. Welcome to the Impacted Family & Friends “Finding Inner Peace” workshops.

This seven month project continues with two more workshops on Saturday, October 16th, at 10:00 am ET and again on Tuesday, October 26th at 7:00 pm ET. This peer2peer emotional wellness project began with informational livestreams in August to introduce the families and health-care providers in Chicopee, Springfield and Holyoke and other Pioneer Valley communities in Hampden, Franklin, and Hampshire counties about the content these 90-minute, innovative, workshops in addition to the who, what, how and why they are important within suicide prevention.

Topics covered on the 16th and 26th include “Is It OK to Be Angry,” “Control Does Not Equal Love,” and the importance of distractions when in stress and #soulcare. The Impacted Family & Friends programs have been in place in Massachusetts since 2014, are supported by the Department of Public Health’s Suicide Prevention Program and are now available in several other states. These Pioneer Valley workshops will continue twice a month through March. This project is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

WHO: Family & close friends emotionally impacted by any form of a loved one’s suicidal crisis

WHAT: Virtual & interactive wellness workshop – Finding Inner Peace

WHEN: Saturday, October 16th, 10:00 am ET

WHERE: Zoom. Link to register:

WHEN: Tuesday, October 26th, 7:00 pm ET

WHERE: ZOOM Link to register:

Questions: director@avoiceatthetable.org

Is This the Night: Finding Inner Peace is a roundtable workshop format that will gently guide participants through what some might call a spiritual and emotional inventory that will offer suggestions on how to better recognize our own behaviors and attitudes and make minor or, in some cases, major changes. This is nothing new. It’s just another way to experience that turnaround to step away from fear and find inner peace and emotional balance.

The exercises outlined in these workshops may not be “the” answer to the quality-of-life wellness challenge for this huge population, but they offer a starting point to begin to tear down the walls fear has built and develop new soul-care skills that can bring some inner peace within while walking through a difficult emotional challenge. It is important to always keep in mind that the Finding Inner Peace Workshops are not counseling or therapy. It is a peer-to-peer format that is described in the original grant funding as “new and innovative.” It is also important to maintain a comfortable and casual atmosphere throughout the series. "There will be moments when the sharing exchange may be serious or sad. There will be just as many times where laughter will rule," noted Matulis.

For the Media: Responsible reporting on suicide, including stories of hope and resilience, can
prevent more suicides. Please visit the Suicide Reporting Recommendations for more
information. For additional information, please visit SuicideReportingToolkit.com.

The mission of the Pioneer Valley Coalition for Suicide Prevention is to create an inclusive collaboration of public and private agencies, community members and people with lived experiences working together to promote healthy communities by supporting strength-based practices that reduce the risk of suicide. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pvcsp/

About A Voice at the Table: A Voice at the Table http://www.avoiceatthetable.org/index.html was founded in 2014 as a companion to the documentary, A Voice at the Table, a call to action to bring the lived experience voices of suicide attempt survivors to all tables within suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. As a grassroots movement, it has since expanded and become the national "home base" forum for the family & friends emotionally impacted & traumatized by the suicidal experiences of loved ones. A movement: a group of people working together to advance their shared ideas. A forum: a place, meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular concern can be exchanged, in this case, nationally and internationally. http://www.avoiceatthetable.org/index.html

For more information about this 7-month series: director@avoiceatthetable.org

Annemarie Matulis
A Voice at the Table
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