Mental Health Series


Reducing Stress, Promoting Wellness

Wednesday, September 25 @ 7PM
with Dr. Rana Chudnofsky

Fall is a stressful season. Calendars fill up. Traffic returns. New activities and relationships begin. Dr. Chudnofsky has served as the director of the Educa- tion Initiative at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital as an expert in stress management. Studies show that roughly 60% to 90% of doctor visits are for conditions related to stress. Learn how you can strengthen the natural healing capacities of body and mind. Suggest- ed donation $10. 


Special workshop with the creator of Jessie's Messy Mind

Wednesday, November 6 @ 7 - 9PM, Vestry
with Jessie Knowles

Using a combination of theater games, guided meditation and journaling, participants will begin to examine the conversations that happen in their own minds.  "I want people to see that there really is no standard of normal, we all just live somewhere on the grand sliding scale of perception.” 


“Jessie’s Messy Mind”

Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9 @ 7:00PM with Jessie Knowles 

Jessie’s Messy Mind is a glimpse inside the life and mind of the extraordinary actress, writer, activist and bipolar schizophrenic, Jessie Knowles. Jessie has created a world on stage that shows what it is like to occupy her own fascinating mind. In the show, Jessie tries to give the audience a look at the world through the lens of a schizophrenic hallucination, a manic episode and a delusional state. "Jessie Knowles's one woman show is a superb example of the transformative power of creative, personal storytelling. With humor, pathos, deep insight and raw courage, Jessie brings the audience into her mind and thus her experience of living with mental illness."  Sara Kremer, Goddard College MFAIA Candidate


You Are Not Alone: Coping with Grief, Loss and Depression During the Holidays 

Tuesday, November 19 @ 7PM 

The holidays can be a stressful time of year under usu- al circumstances. But when you are managing grief or loss or emptiness, holiday memories and traditions can be particularly overwhelming. It can also be challeng- ing to know what to do or say when a friend or family member is struggling to cope with the holidays. Dis- cover strategies and resources to help you or a loved one recognize that you are not alone. 


Gun Violence Vigil & Forum 

Wednesday, December 18 @ 7PM
with Rep. David Linsky

Each December we remember those lives lost to gun violence in our country and we call for common sense gun legislation to reduce the harm to our families and communities. Join us on the Front Porch for a candlelight vigil to remember those lives, especially those killed this year in El Paso and Dayton among others. Following the brief outdoor vigil, we will move inside for a dis- cussion of the impact of gun violence and to hear from Representative David Linsky about local gun control initiatives. 


Can We Agree on Marijuana? 

Wednesday, January 22 @ 7PM
with Sarallyn Keller

Although marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts and soon will be available for non-medical sale in Natick, it is still illegal, harmful and addictive for youth under 21. Research is showing that mari- juana use by a developing brain has real adverse effects. Legalization has created a false perception of safety that we need to talk about. 


Trauma & Mental Health: Return of the Repressed 

Wednesday, March 4, @ 7PM
with Rev. Dr. John Weagraff

Many mental health challenges arise from a com- plex web of factors. Appreciating this complex-
ity of those factors creates an opening for both understanding and compassion. The Rev. Dr. John Weagraff and colleagues from Children’s Charter will explore the intersection and interaction of trauma, mental health and substance misuse.


Responding to Depression 

Wednesday, May 6, @ 7PM with Devin Shmueli 

Join facilitators from “Families for Depression Awareness” for a workshop providing practical education and actionable advice to equip parents and caring adults know how to help a teen, and teens know how to ask for help, all to improve teen mental wellness and prevent teen suicides.