Donation Goodies!

We are offering some of our resources as gifts for donations of $25 (8×11 poster), $50 (book: Safety or ALL Brochure), $100 (poster and book).  The picture features your options! Click the donate button below and you will be redirected to PayPal.

Gifts for your generous donation!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
S

Thanks Giving!

This is a time of harvest, joyous reflection, gathering with friends and family.  This is also a time when so many are triggered and become unwell.  With that in mind, do what you can to take good, loving care of yourself.  Give to your Self the gift of companionship, as best you can.

Don’t look the other way!  Grow a Strong Family has many resources to share, especially around the holidays!  Visit us!  Consider donating on GivingTuesday, Nov 27, or any time!  https://www.facebook.com/donate/183175309291741/?fundraiser_source=external_url

Thank you and have a warm holiday.

June Newsletter

 

We are proud to have accomplished so much in the past year and we want to share it with you! So, we are scheduling a “Showcase” for Wednesday, August 29th. Light refreshments, handouts, raffle items, and opportunities to ask questions are in the works. More details are coming!

This Past Month: Highlights

May was mental health awareness month. It was also a month that featured many other initiatives for other causes so we are especially grateful to those who generously donated to Grow a Strong Family through our various campaigns on Facebook, through the website, and at the Red Heat Tavern.

The winner of the $25 gift card to the Red Heat Tavern is (drum roll), Sharon Connolly from Urgent Care!

We want to send a shout out to the Red Heat Tavern for hosting this event, giving us 15% of the food proceeds from the day, and donating the gift card! The community support is welcome and a win for everyone, not to mention that the Tavern is a great gathering place and has excellent food!

Grow a Strong Family was one of 15 mini-grant recipients from CHNA15 and we participated in their Annual Showcase. It was a good opportunity to be a part of a group of community organizations offering needed services to the community, supported by the generosity of CHNA15. After an hour of showing off our successful projects, we were treated to a panel discussion on Suicide Prevention. The keynote and facilitator, Jon Mattleman (https://www.jonmattleman.com/) did an excellent job of speaking to the diverse audience and increasing their awareness. One of the tools that he shared was, “Tell me more,” when someone says to you, “Life is not worth living,” or other suicidal thoughts. The panelists included Jake Cavanaugh, founder of the Nan Project (https://thenanproject.org/) whose mission is “saving lives and heal families.” The young adult speaker (http://mindingyourmind.org/) was from “Minding your mind,” and offered thoughtful discussion of the collateral impact when a friend is a successful suicide. Tom Denton, the Director of Guidance at Needham Public Schools and a Bedford Resident, along with Robin Krawcyck from Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Elder Services, rounded out the panel. Suicide and its impact on family and friends is not talked about enough. These resources are opening the discussion across generations.

We, too, have added two webinars on the topic on our website: Suicidality is a general discussion and education about the topic: https://growastrongfamily.org/suicidality/ and “managing suicidal behavior” gets to the nuts and bolts on actions that caring loved ones can take: https://growastrongfamily.org/managing-suicidal-behavior/

The group, “Replanting lives uprooted by mental illness: Support for families,” continues to explore the ways that families can build resilience and acquire the skills and tools needed to embrace better outcomes for everyone in the family. The focus of this past month was on “Coping when loved ones are symptomatic: This session explored several resources for family members to manage more effectively when their loved ones are symptomatic. How to detach, with or without love, in a healthy way. What is reasonable to do? What boundaries make sense?” For more information, click here and see both our televised production and our webinar: https://growastrongfamily.org/coping-when-symptomatic/

The evening group discussed Family CPR Specific activities that families can employ when faced with a loved one’s symptoms.

Reminder!

Replanting Lives is a FREE group that meets the 2nd Tuesday morning, 10:30-noon, at the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle MA; and the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 7-8:30 PM at the Bedford Council of Aging at 12 Mudge Way,Bedford.

Directions to the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle are easy since it is right on Route 225 in Carlisle! Directions to the Bedford Council on Aging: take Great Road to Elm Street (between the Bedford Fire Dept and the Unitarian Church). At the end of Elm Street, there is a stop sign, go right and then bear left (there is a sign showing the COA is to the left). There is a large parking area. When you walk in the building, go straight! You are there!

For questions and to register (recommended), please contact Mara Briere at 781-405-8376 or GASFInc@outlook.com

Coming up:

In association with the Gleason Public Library and the Carlisle Council on Aging, we are offering the following events FREE, at the Gleason Public Library, 10:30-noon.

Replanting Lives Uprooted by Mental illness:

Tues June 12: Three legs of a triangle: managing crisis without succumbing to crisis. This discussion focuses on strategies to increase safety, apply “family CPR: compassion, (parental/partner) guidance, reassurance,” and tools for defusing family stress.

In association with the Bedford COA and the Edinburg Center and Central NAMI Middlesex, we are offering the following events FREE at the Bedford COA on Wednesdays from 7-8:30 pm:

Wednesday, June 12: The 7 C’s This session explores the helplessness that family members often feel in the face of chronic brain disorders. How can the conflicting ideas that tend to occupy caretakers and family members be demystified? Journeying on the 7C’s offers the insight and understanding to accept “what is” rather than founder in a sea of misinformation and “what if.” Let’s right our boats together!

SAVE THE DATE SAVE THE DATE SAVE THE DATE SAVE THE DATE

Share In the Grow a Strong Family Showcase! August 29th!

The Showcase features Grow a Strong Family’s mission to bring comprehensive multimedia programs to the community in a variety of online and in-person formats. Our Showcase is your opportunity to network, gather new ideas, learn about exciting projects developed by Grow a Strong Family, and be a part of what is going on in your community.

Replanting Lives: Directions!

Replanting Lives” is a support group that meets twice a month, the 2nd Tuesday morning (10:30-noon at the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle MA) and second  Wednesday evening (7-8:30pm at the Bedford COA at 12 Mudge Way), based on the book, “Replanting Lives Uprooted by Mental Illness: A Practical Guide for Families,” by Nancy Pizzo Boucher.

Directions to the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle are easy since it is right on Route 225 in Carlisle! Directions to the Bedford Council on Aging: take Great Road to Elm Street. At the stop sign, go right and then left (there is a sign showing the COA is to the left). There is a large parking area. When you walk in the building, go straight! You are there! Any questions, feel free to call 781-405-8376 for assistance.

Each FREE session is conducted by Mara Briere, MA, CFLE and a co-facilitator

Unconditional love; conditional participation

When I was walking around trees, following deer tracks, listening to the music of red-wing blackbirds, I realized that I love my family members unconditionally. It does not matter to my loving them that they are unwell. Where the conditional aspects of our relationships come in are around their behaviors when they are unwell. When they are hurtful, dangerous to me, unkind, disrespectful, scary – these are behaviors I don’t let into my life from anyone, and that means, not from them either. I am willing to have them in my life when they are able to behave in ways that I want to be a part of. The strings are, “As long as you are able to be around me, on my terms, we’re good.” I am not closing any doors. I am merely defining the parameters for participating in my life. And my (currently) estranged family members seem to be aware of this. I consider their estrangement from me as a way that they are protecting me from their unwellness. What are your thoughts?

Spring Seminars through Bedford Recreation

WHO CARES FOR THE CAREGIVER?
Learning how to actively schedule self-care is a vital skill when nurturing and supporting loved ones with mental illnesses. Give yourself the gift of an evening to acquire some skills that do not require huge amounts of time or commitments that you may not be able to fulfill. You might even have fun while remembering how to have fun!
Monday, March 13, 7:00-8:30pm (min 5/max 25) Fee: $25

HOW TO MANAGE THE HOLIDAYS AND FAMILY CELEBRATIONS WITH LOVED ONES WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES
Throughout the year, there are special times that families gather together and for some families, these can be quite stressful. In the spring, there are religious celebrations as well as Mother’s Day & Father’s Day, graduations, and weddings. This seminar offers effective strategies for moving through these potentially difficult times with our loved ones with mental illnesses or behavioral health issues. (min5/max25)
Monday, March 27, 7:00-8:30pm Fee: $25

HOW TO PARENT CHILDREN WITH BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ISSUES
Parenting is a challenge under the BEST of circumstances. Add a child with behavioral health issues and, well, it is MORE of a challenge! Learn how to step out of the fight of medical/mental health compliance. Examine some strategies to increase your effectiveness in establishing and setting limits. Consider how to have more fun as a parent! This introduction offers a framework for managing the challenges facing parents who are confronted with atypically developing children. (min5/max25)
Monday, April 3, 7:00-8:30pm Fee: $25

Please register through Bedford Recreation: https://apm.activecommunities.com/bedfordma

How To Seminars

Grow A Strong Family Presents: How To Seminars

Grief: Learning to Move Forward: As Lu (2016) points out, “When a loved one is struck with a serious mental illness, family members experience the loss of the individual they once knew, and are left to cope with learning how to live with a person who is physically present, but psychologically and emotionally different.”  When a loved one has a mental health diagnosis, typical transitions, hopes, expectations, and dreams require a re-write.  Family members experience a sense of loss, sadness, disappointment, discouragement.  The relationship has changed.  Roles are revised.  Triggers abound which cycle through the lifespan and the grief seems to know no end.   

Join us as we discuss this painful component of loving someone with a mental health diagnosis.

Monday, February 6, 7:00-8:30 PM 12 Mudge Way Bedford MA Room 152.  Registration required through www.bedfordrecreation.org or 781-275-1392.  Fee: $25

 Talk to loved ones more effectively Talk Text Email Tweet Message:  Communication can vary on many dimensions.   It can be direct or indirect, formal or informal, clear or blurred, etc. Trying to have a conversation with someone who holds onto her distorted thoughts in spite of overwhelming evidence is challenging, frustrating, and can lead to angry outbursts that hurt both of you.  There are proven tools that can effectively enable you to get your point across without fighting.  Learn the basics.  Practice in “real time.”  This is an introduction to better communication.    Learn how to “get out of the fight!”

Wed, Feb 8, 7-8:30pm, Concord Carlisle High School; Code FL101.  Registration required through www.ace.colonial.net or 978-318-1432.  Fee: $25

Monday, February 27, 7:00-8:30pm, 12 Mudge Way, Bedford MA Room 152.  Registration required through www.bedfordrecreation.org or 781-275-1393.  Fee: $25

Avoiding Power Struggles is for those of us who are tired of fighting with our loved ones who have mental health or behavioral health diagnoses over… anything!  Why do they hook us into fighting?  Why do we go there with them??? How can we step out of the battle?  How can we be more effective??

Learn what purpose power struggles may serve.  Pick up three strategies for avoiding the power struggles. 

Monday. January 30, 7:00 -8:30 Pm.  12 Mudge Way, Bedford MA Room 152.  Registration required through www.bedfordrecreation.org or 781-275-1393.  Fee: $25

Monday, March 6, 7-8:30 PM Concord Carlisle High School; Code FL102.  Registration required through www.ace.colonial.net or 978-318-1432.  Fee: $25

Who cares for the caregiver?  Learning how to actively schedule self-care is a vital skill when nurturing and supporting loved ones with mental illnesses.  Give yourself the gift of an evening to acquire some skills that don’t require huge amounts of time or commitments that you may not be able to fulfill.  You might even have fun while remembering how to have fun!

Monday, March 13, 7:00-8:30 PM 12 Mudge Way Bedford MA Room 152.  Registration required through www.bedfordrecreation.org or 781-275-1392.  Fee: $25

Tuesday, March 14, 7-8:30 PM.  Concord Carlisle High School; Code FL103.  Registration required through www.ace.colonial.net or 978-318-1432.  Fee: $25