While for many Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, it is first and foremost a day to honor the men and women who have died while serving our country in the armed forces. But what about the veterans who have returned from deployment and face dealing with the trauma experienced in combat? According to a 2016 VA report, an average of 20 veterans die by suicide EVERY DAY. Organizations like @thesoldiersproject are working to reduce stigma and propogate mental health resources within the military community. For ways you can help “heal the hidden wounds of war”, head over to their website, and don’t forget to give them a follow on their social media pages, because spreading awareness can be as simple as a click. #memorialday #mentalhealthawareness #veteransuicideawareness #stopthestigma
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If you're planning to stay local this long weekend, here are our picks for some low cost family friendly activities around LA!
1. WE RISE - If you have yet to check out this 10 day festival in Downtown LA, we highly recommend RSVPing to one of their events this weekend. Capping off Mental Health Awareness Month, the pop-up kicks off at 10 A.M. and offers a variety of wellness-based activities for all ages; from yoga, meditation and drum circles to interactive art projects, dance workshops, and film screenings. Special guests will host discussions on topics including online bullying, the connection between art and mental health, and the impact of systemic community trauma.
For a complete breakdown of their schedule, head over to the website. All events are FREE, but don't forget to RSVP!
1726 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
2. Street Food Cinema - It's open air theatre season once again, and for an adventure flick the whole family can enjoy, head over to Will Rodgers State Park tomorrow evening. At 8:30, Raiders of the Lost Ark will hit the big screen, but we recommend arriving early to enjoy the fare from some food trucks favorites Wise BBQ, Go Beyond the Bowl and more. General admission is $14, and $6 for kids aged 6-12 (youngsters enter free of charge). Parking will cost you $10, and don't forget to buy your tickets ahead of time online here!
1501 Will Rogers State Park Road,
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
3. Forest Lawn Memorial Day Ceremonies - When it comes to honoring the fallen members of our armed forces, there are dozens of observances held all across the city. This year we have chosen to highlight a more traditional ceremony hosted by the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. From 10 A.M. to 11 A.M., highlights will include a keynote address, rifle salute, Color Guard and more. After paying your respects, we suggest heading just over the hill to the nearby grounds of Griffith Park or Lake Hollywood for an afternoon picnic or hike!
6300 Forest Lawn Dr,
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Within our team, each week staff members share, in brief messages, our weekly sources of inspiration or the things for which we are thankful. Today, we'd like to share a few of these recent expressions of gratitude with you. Although we've designated one day a year dedicated to thanks, the practice of showing appreciation is something we integrate into our everyday.
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, and we'd love to hear what you are grateful for!
"People's perseverance, how we get up after trying hard and failing, getting up and trying again the next day...and the next and the next...."
And finally, from Henry David Thoreau...
"I am grateful for what I am and have.
My thanksgiving is perpetual...
O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches.
No run on my bank can drain it
for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment."
Earlier this month, the IEG team got together for a special Sunday well spent with Southern California volunteer program Food Forward. In orange groves tucked between the canyons of L.A.’s West Hills, our team along with dozens of likeminded volunteers, armed with clawed pole pickers, cardboard boxes, and plenty of water, disseminated into the shaded groves for some backyard harvesting.
The idea is ingenious in it’s simplicity; fruit trees grow copiously all over the region, in public property, in the yards of private homes, and in the orchards across the valley. Also in alarming and continually growing numbers are the amount of hungry mouths to feed, and scarce accessibility of quality foods particularly in low income areas. Food Forward connects those hungry mouths with fresh produce by organizing volunteers to reap the benefits of Southern California’s most infamous of natural resources; namely citrus fruits, but all vegetation that would otherwise go to waste. So far, over 35,000,000 pounds of produce that would, if not for programs like this, go unharvested, have instead been donated to food programs including Stamp out Hunger, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, and Project Angel Food.
Not only was it an exercise in bonding for our team, and aside from the feeling of community forged by shared goodwill, it was thoroughly enjoyable morning combining nature with a bit of elbow grease. Next time you plan to hit the trails for a weekend hike, consider donating a little bit of your time at Orcutt Ranch, did we mention the sweet-smelling aroma of millions of orange blossoms in bloom? To participate in this rewarding experience for yourself, click here.
Foregoing roses, chocolates and cards, this Valentine's Day we bring you a powerful personal story first published on the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) website. If you are supported and suffering from mental illness, today is a reminder that you are loved. If you are a support system for someone suffering from a mental illness, today is a reminder you are loved, and the letter below is addressed to you.
To all the men and women who stand beside their loved one as an invisible illness succumbs us to tears, to anger, to wrist slitting, pill swallowing, agonizing desires to die; thank you. At times, you have been the singular image that kept us alive.
With September comes the beginning of a new season, and we're taking this time to reflect on where we began and what is to come for Insight Enrichment Group and its founder, Adam Sholder.
Before working the field of mental health, Adam Sholder began with a background in education, and it is that approach that lead to IEG’s philosophy - Learn. Grow. Live. By learning fundamental life skills, and growing and developing meaningful structure, clients are empowered to reach and exceed their potential to live full and meaningful lives. But the seed of this idea truly began back in Seattle in 1995 when Adam began working in alternative education…
This month, IEG has chosen to showcase local multitalented artist and musician David “Mezzy” Mesirow. Be on the lookout for his latest album “The Right Direction,” to be released soon! He took a few minutes to answer some question about his music, his inspirations, and his work ethic.
Could you describe your music?
My music combines existing genres of music (pop, rock, jazz, blues, and soul) yet sets out to be new, interesting, and different; perhaps in an effort to create a whole new genre or take music in a new direction.
I play keyboards, sing, write, and produce music. I use music as an outlet to express myself and be creative. I try to be versatile and express a wide variety of moods and emotions.
Training your Brain with Neurofeedback is the latest asset to improved behavioral, cognitive, and subjective brain functions.
What does this mean and how can it benefit you? We got the 411 from local accredited Neurofeedback and Psychotherapy practitioner Ruthanne Iliff.