A Voice at the Table Responds to Requests for Impacted Family & Friends Wellness Workshops in Missouri

Who are we?

Jacque Christmas, MO IFF Director

Series producers Annemarie Matulis & Tracey Medeiros

Impacted Family & Friends Members

A Voice at the Table

Family & close friends emotionally impacted by the suicidal experiences of a loved ones benefit from more frequent workshops.

No one has ever welcomed everyone to one table like that before or since. I knew this was an important resource to have in Missouri.”

— Jacque Christmas

JOPLIN, MISSOURI, UNITED SATES, October 12, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — The aftermath of a catastrophic event – a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, tends to bring out the best in humanity. Neighborhoods and entire communities come together as never before. Complete strangers reach out to help each other through the challenging, emotional darkness. And then we experienced the COVID Pandemic. Responses were heroic.

But when the perceived catastrophe within the Covid crisis is a personal tornado, hurricane or psychological earthquake as the result of a loved one’s suicide attempt, extreme depression and anxiety or other mental health crisis, there is no outpouring of compassion and support. You stand alone. Terrified.

“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 is one of the questions posed during wellness workshops recently delivered by co-developer and facilitator Annemarie Matulis. A small group sat around the virtual Zoom table. The title of the exercise is “What? Me Color?” The focus is what does each person use to help calm themselves down and distract themselves so they can better support their 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.

“We began delivering these wellness workshops with a five-month sample run in 2018 into 2019,” stated MO Impacted Family & Friends Director, Jacque Christmas. “And we are thrilled to launch this new series in collaboration with our Massachusetts cohorts.”

Christmas further stated, “I sat in on a Train the Facilitator session in Cape Girardeau facilitated by Annemarie Matulis and Tracey Medeiros following our Southeastern MO Suicide Prevention Conference in 2018, and for the first time, as a bereaved mom, I felt welcomed, like I’d come home. The room was filled with suicide attempt survivors, loss survivors, impacted family members and close friends of those who had these experiences. No one has ever welcomed everyone to one table like that before or since. I knew this was an important resource to have in Missouri.”

A Voice at the Table, a grassroots community-based movement, has been delivering these workshops for seven years in MA, for the last four years in several other states and at an international conference in Northern Ireland. Multiple facilitators are launching several series that will run simultaneously each month on different days, different times for a 5-month stretch beginning October 13th. There will be no cost for this abbreviated version (sessions typically run for 10 months at a time) due to funding provided via grants, sponsorships, and donations.

In addition to the structured workshops, Matulis, Medeiros, Christmas and a few others will offer a few informal livestreams throughout the five-month timeframe to review the workshop content of these 90-minute, innovative, workshops in addition to the who, what, how and why they are important within suicide prevention to help better inform those who may be interested in participating.
Each monthly schedule can be found on http://www.avoiceatthetable.org/index.html on October 13th and on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/A-Voice-at-the-Table-645572688861558.

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: WEDNESDAY October 13th, 7:30 pm ET

WHERE: Zoom. Link to register:
https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TROv-mkhRgeyIz47jNmZNQ

Questions: director@avoiceatthetable.org

For questions about future session in MO, contact Jacque Christmas at Jacque.Christmas@dmh.mo.gov

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.

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.

About A Voice at the Table: A Voice at the Table 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
director@avoiceatthetable.org
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Source: EIN Presswire