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Harford County library to host series of virtual programs in support of Mental Health Awareness Month

The Harford County Public Library and Harford County Department of Community Services have teamed up to host a series of virtual programs in support of Mental Health Awareness Month in May and June.

“Positive mental health is so important for overall good health,” Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library, said in a news release. “We are pleased to join Harford County Department of Community Services to offer a variety of programs to our community that can help them in mind, body and spirit.”

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Speakers include author and artist Sandra Magsamen, musician and mental health advocate Jordan Lally, and author Kelly Jensen. The programs support good mental health for all ages in the community, according to a news release.

The virtual programs are free and open to the public, however registration is required. A valid email address is needed at registration. Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email containing the Zoom link and a unique password to their event.

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“Everyone has times when they feel overwhelmed, whether it’s from everyday stresses or challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said in a statement. “Our goal, along with our library partners, is to reduce stigma and offer practical resources that support mental wellness at every age.”

Sandra Magsamen, a world-renowned artist, author and designer and Maryland native who is a featured columnist on Oprah.com reads during the Harford County Public Library's 2019 Women's Summit. She will host a pair of virtual workshops in May and June focused on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sandra Magsamen, a world-renowned artist, author and designer and Maryland native who is a featured columnist on Oprah.com reads during the Harford County Public Library's 2019 Women's Summit. She will host a pair of virtual workshops in May and June focused on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

Sandra Magsamen workshops

Artist, author and designer Sandra Magsamen, a Maryland native, will lead a virtual program from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, titled “A COVID Journal: Reflecting and Documenting This Past Year with 7 Days - 7 Questions,” asking participants to record their personal COVID-19 experiences through journaling.

The 26-page keepsake journal, designed by Magsamen, is free, and printed copies are available as a “Take & Make” at all Harford County Public Library locations while supplies last. In addition, the journal is available to download directly from the library’s website HCPLonline.org.

“What’s Next? How a Vision Board Can Create the Life You Imagine” is the topic of Magsamen’s second virtual program on Wednesday, June 9, from 7 to 8 p.m. on Zoom.

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This discussion will focus on how the pandemic has changed lives and what the new normal looks like. Magsamen will guide participants in the creation of their own family or individual vision board. During this hands-on program, she’ll explore ways to use intuition, set goals and create a format through the vision board to clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on what truly matters to you.

To register for the programs, visit https://hcplonline.org/vp-sandramagsamen.php.

Jordan Lally film screening, workshops

Jordan Lally, a Harford County musician and mental health advocate, will participate in three virtual events in support of Mental Health Awareness Month.

A virtual screening of the film, “Power of Expression,” takes place Monday, May 24, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. “Power of Expression” is a one-of-a-kind mental health awareness film for teens and adults featuring storytelling and guided meditation by Lally along with original music by the band Big Infinite, according to the news release.

Lally, a meditation teacher, will return Tuesday, June 15, from 7 to 8 p.m. to lead a virtual proactive mental health journey workshop called “Introduction to Meditation & Mindful Health” for teens and adults. The session will include introductory practices of meditation, mindfulness and self-expression as well as strategies to implement a mindful mental health approach to daily life.

“Creative Expression & Mindfulness Practices” takes place virtually Wednesday, June 23, from 7 to 8 p.m. Led by Tara DeCapite of the Ed Lally Foundation and Big Infinite band members, Dj Fritzges and Dre Toney, this session will include an introduction to accessible creative expression outlets including journaling, art, music and spoken word.  The workshop is geared toward teens and adults and will provide participants with down-to-earth mindful practices that can support the creative process, the release states.

A Q&A session will follow each of the three events. To register, visit https://hcplonline.org/vp-jordanlally.php.

Mental Health for Young Adults

“Mental Health Matters” with author Kelly Jensen, held virtually on Thursday, May 27, from 7 to 8 p.m., will feature Jensen discussing her award-winning anthology for young adults, “(Don’t) Call Me Crazy.” She will focus on writing from a place of honesty and vulnerability that showcases the truth of life with mental illness, according to the release.

Jensen will also talk about what it means to be “OK.” Other important areas she will cover include how mental illness is represented in books and in the media as well as what the reality of our mental health is amid a global pandemic. There will be an opportunity to ask questions during this session.

To register for this conversation, visit: https://hcplonline.org/vp-mentalhealthmatters.php.

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