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Manchester University sets aside full day to explore mental health issues

Keynote speaker is ‘Strong at the Broken Places’ author Lynn Sanford

Lynn SanfordManchester University is devoting an entire day to discussions about mental health on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

All Discussion Day events are free and open to the public.

The programs begin at 10 a.m. on the North Manchester campus with keynote speaker Lynn Sanford, author of Strong at the Broken Places: Building Resiliency in the Lives of Survivors and The Silent Children.

The myth of “once damaged goods, always damaged goods” suggests that a survivor of trauma is destined to continue patterns of abuse – against themselves or others.  Sanford says the truth is that most survivors go on to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.  Many, in fact, derive great strengths in the very areas where they’ve been hurt – not only becoming strong, but “strong at the broken places.” 

She will offer a strengths-focused model for resilience, as well as outline characteristics that help survivors prevail over trauma.  She is a licensed independent clinical social worker who began her career working with victims of sexual assault and has worked for 20 years with youth who have been convicted of violent crimes. She is currently Visiting Professor of Trauma-Informed Social Work at Wheelock College in Boston.

In the afternoon, there will be a broad selection of workshops from which to choose, with concurrent one-hour sessions led by experts in those areas.

For more about the speaker and a full list of workshop details and film locations, visit http://www.manchester.edu/discussionday.

Topics at 1:30 p.m. include the emotional cost of unresolved conflict; eating disorders; suicide prevention; opioid addiction; integrative healing; death and grief; infant mental health; and the healing power of art. Topics at 3 p.m. include using genetics to improve medication choices for psychiatric disorders; autism and developmental delays in children; ADHD; dementia; the future of the Affordable Care Act as it relates to mental health; art therapy; neuroscience; anxiety; the problem of labeling; and forest walk therapy.

The Discussion Day Film Festival at 7 p.m. will offer concurrent documentary films in four locations: The Dhamma Brothers is about meditation used at a maximum-security prison in Alabama; Stress: Portrait of a Killer looks at the impact of stress on the body; Wartorn explores the chronic effects of battle agony and post-traumatic anxiety on military personnel and people close to them throughout American history;  and The Anonymous People is about the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.  

Discussion Day is part of the Values, Ideas and the Arts series at Manchester, designed to offer credit to undergraduate students who, through the process, gain cultural exposure, artistic experiences and intellectual enrichment. It is common to explore important, complex, and sometimes uncomfortable, topics.

About Manchester University
Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to 1,600 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Athletic Training, a Master of Pharmacogenomics and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy.  Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu.

February 2017