Speaking out against LGBTQ bullying #SpiritDay

stand up to bullying

Paper Mill Playhouse and the company of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz support “Spirit Day 2019” in the attached image.  This year’s Spirit Day (Thursday, October 17) is a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities. Pledging to “go purple” on Spirit Day is a way for everyone to visibly show solidarity with LGBTQ youth and to take part in the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world.  Feel to use this image on your websites, social media and broadcast. Photo by Emma Rhyner.

Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, presents the New Jersey premiere of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz with a book by Marc Acito, musical adaptation & additional music by David Libby and conceived by and additional lyrics by Tina Marie Casamento. Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz  will run through Sunday, October 27, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ). Directed and choreographed by Tony award nominee Denis Jones, Orchestrations by Larry Blank and David Libby with music direction by Lawrence Yurman, the principal cast features Ruby Rakos (Billy Elliot) as Judy Garland/Frances Gumm, Tony Award nominee Max Von Essen (An American in Paris, Paper Mill’s The Baker’s Wife) as Frank Gumm, Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Ethel Gumm, Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!, And the World Goes ‘Round) as Ma Lawlor/Kay Koverman, Stephen DeRosa (Into the Woods, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) as Louis B. Mayer, Michael Wartella (Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryTuck Everlasting) as Mickey Rooney, and Colin Hanlon (ABC’s Modern Family, Paper Mill’s Benny & Joon) as Roger Edens.

Before she burst onto the big screen as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland was a young vaudeville trouper named Frances Gumm. In this highly anticipated new musical chronicling Garland’s early career from vaudeville baby to MGM teen star in the making, the road to Oz is paved with adversity. At its heart a story of love between a father and daughter, featuring such legendary songs as “Over the Rainbow,” “You Made Me Love You,” and “Everybody Sing,” Chasing Rainbows is a poignant coming-of-age tale about “the little girl with the big voice,” who went on to become one of the world’s most beloved entertainment icons. The show has already earned praise from Liza Minnelli, who said, “My mother said that her biography is in her music, and now a talented creative team is using that music to tell the story of her early years and her extraordinary rise to fame.”

Tickets available at www.PaperMill.org.

TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS Announces “You Make Today Better” Campaign in Honor of World Suicide Prevention Day

Nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) just launched its 8th annual campaign to honor World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8 – September 14). This year’s campaign centers around the message of: “You Make Today Better.
According to the World Health Organization, 800,000 people die by suicide globally each year. That’s one person every 40 seconds. Additionally, the CDC recently reported that as of 2016, the suicide rate in the United States has risen 25% over the last 20 years.
TWLOHA Founder Jamie Tworkoswki shared: “World Suicide Prevention Day has become the most important day of the year for us. We love that this campaign gives people a way not only to support TWLOHA but also to have honest conversations about mental health. Above all, the goal is people getting help and lives being saved.
People can participate in this year’s campaign by purchasing the organization’s World Suicide Prevention Day pack, joining the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using #YouMakeTodayBetter, #WSPD19, and by becoming a fundraiser or donating to the campaign. TWLOHA has set a goal to raise $150,000 to sponsor 3,000 counseling sessions, provide scholarships for higher levels of care, and to connect thousands of people to reduced-cost local mental health resources.
Since its start in 2006, TWLOHA has donated over $2.4 million directly into treatment, has responded to over 210,000 messagesfrom over 100 countries, and traveled more than 3.4 million miles to meet people face-to-face at nearly 3,000 events. Each month, they connect with 5 million people online through social media and their FIND HELP Tool fields 5,000 searches made by people seeking affordable, local mental health resources.
In addition to this year’s WSPD campaign, TWLOHA recently announced that they will be holding their annual HEAVY AND LIGHTevent on September 21st, 2019 at the House of Blues in Orlando, FL. The organization invites everyone to attend the show for what promises to be an inspiring evening of songs, conversation and hope, with performances from Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, Anthony Raneri of Bayside, DessaSWIMM, spoken word poet Anis Mojgani, singer/songwriter Morgan Harper Nichols, and singer/songwriter Jamie Grace.
Tickets for HEAVY AND LIGHT are on sale now and available at https://livemu.sc/2ZcpptG. Bundles for the event, which include a ticket and an exclusive shirt, can also be purchased at http://bit.ly/2Y7aeFG.

Boost your mental health even while you’re on a vacation – How is it possible?

Despite you being someone who simply loves his job, still there are times when you may feel bogged down by your responsibilities. Between pressures from your work, traffic jam in between commutes and family responsibilities, don’t you find it tough to focus on your physical and mental well-being? Do you lately find yourself shying away from socializing with people and are you trying to figure out the reason behind this feeling?

Well, the most probable reason is that you might be in dire need of a vacation. There will arrive a time when taking just a few days off from work will boost up your mental and physical health in a way you recharge your phone batteries. While there are online resources like e-counseling.com from where you can get the required information on seeking help of the best counselors, yet you should know how traveling can help you.

 

  • Give yourself a break from your old routine

 

If you do the same things time and again, this will become monotonous and can have a negative impact on your mood. Everyday you wake up, go out for work, get back home and again wait for the same old routine for the next day. If you could break your routine, this could give you a new perspective for life. Apart from just giving you a new perspective, you can also reduce the unnecessary stress that is disturbing you.

 

  • Make the most out of your leisure time

 

When you go out, make sure you don’t overschedule things. Rather than rushing from one activity to another, invest enough time in just wandering around, taking a sip or two of your favorite drink and then let your mind wander. Make sure you prepare the to-do list way ahead of time as this can also boost your mental health.

 

  • Let the calm affect your personality

 

If you’re traveling to a foreign country, you may at times feel out of the comfort zone and hence you need to adapt to such differences. This is a sort of challenge which opens up new avenues of your personality. This kind of adaptation will certainly make you less reactive to daily changes, boost your emotional stability and also make you willing enough to meet new people. Hence, you will become more agreeable in nature.

So, for ultimate stress relief and to make sure you improve your mental health, you can plan a next trip, even if that means traveling to a not-so-far destination. Traveling to a place and breaking your everyday routine can have huge impact on your physical and mental health. You can come back with double energy.

5 Daily Good Mood Rituals For Your Health and Happiness

nature walk

As many might be falling off the New Year’s resolution band wagon, life coach and author Dannie De Novo has a few tips to help people succeed year-round with daily rituals. Dannie, author of Get in a Good Mood & Stay There, says “Your good mood New Year’s resolution success will live and die by the habits you put into place to secure your desired goals. So, it stands to reason that the better the habit, the better the results you will see.”

But the idea of instilling new habits doesn’t usually sound like a fun thing to do. “That’s why I advocate for the adoption of rituals, which are nothing more than patterned behaviors but with a slightly more positive vibe,” Dannie continues. “When you adopt rituals, you train your brain to go through certain programing automatically. At that point, the behavior you desire is no longer ‘work’—you just do it.”

 

Ritual #1 Meditation

The more frequently you practice meditation, the more the effects sustain themselves throughout your day and throughout your life. Daily meditation practice equals daily sustained good mood.

You don’t have to devote more than a few minutes each day to meditation and you don’t have to be perfect in your practice. Keep it simple. Focus on your breath. Focus on a mantra or affirmation. Focus on the quiet. What your practice should be is meaningful for you. With meaning and connectedness, comes happiness.

Ritual #2 Gratitude

Gratitude is feeling or showing appreciation toward someone or something. A gratitude practice is a daily commitment to focusing your energy and thoughts on what you appreciate. There are few things you can do to build and maintain your happiness as important as exercising daily gratitude.

Gratitude shifts our thinking to the present moment. Gratitude allows us to celebrate what we have now and what we have accomplished. It also allows us to refocus our energy on our dreams and goals.

Ritual #3 Remind yourself of your why

If you don’t remind yourself each and every day why you made the decision to seek and hold on to your good mood, you won’t keep going after that goal.

Remind yourself often of why you made your decision. Take a piece of paper, write out your resolution in big letters at the top, and under your resolution list all the reasons why you are going to accomplish it. Make these statements positive. Place this paper in a visible area and make yourself read it and really reflect on the reasons why you started on this journey and why it is so important for you to continue.

Ritual #4 Be a dreamer

Your imagination is the gateway to your good mood and, ultimately, to your ideal life. You have the amazing ability to form the picture of any life you want and, by so imagining it, then living the life you desire. When your mood is dark and small, so is your world.

Carry with you the attitude of a dreamer. Never stop dreaming—even when things aren’t going your way. See yourself living life in a good mood and hold that picture in the forefront of your mind. You deserve to be happy.

Ritual #5 Something that makes you feel good

I love nature. When I am in and around it, I feel good mental, physically and spiritually. So, I make being outside for each day one of my rituals. I also think movement is important for my good mood. Daily exercise or some kind of movement helps keep everything in balance.

You should be incorporating rituals that make you feel complete and like a better version of yourself. Whether those rituals include journaling, reading, doing affirmations, spending time with pets, spending time with loved ones, or laughing, the idea is the same. Make these good mood activities daily practices that help contribute to an overall good mood.

 

About Dannie De Novo: Dannie is an author, attorney, coach, entrepreneur and podcast host who loves horses, traveling and learning. Her book Get in a Good Mood & Stay There launched in 2018. She spends her days finding ways to help those who aren’t experiencing the most fulfilling version of their lives. Her greatest job and joy is serving as mom to an amazing beacon of light and hope, her daughter, Carson. To learn move visit: www.DannieDeNovo.com

Walk to End Alzheimer’s #EndAlz

This past weekend, we participated in our second Walk to End Alzheimer’s, both as walkers and as volunteers. As many of you might know. while we are very “active activists” as we joke, this is one cause that is near and dear to my heart, personally.

If you have been touched by this disease, or know someone who has, please consider giving your time or a donation. This is the only of the top 10 causes of death in America that can not be slowed, cured, or prevented. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and more then 5 million people live with the disease in the USA alone. 16 million people identify as caregivers to someone with Alzheimer’s.

This is not a small problem we are facing.

The first walk we participated in was 1,000 people strong – we stepped forward together, raising funds and each others spirits. This walk more than doubled in size this year.  The association is confident that it will continue to grow.

While I don’t have the numbers for this past weekend, I can tell you that as we handed out shirts, everyone was happy to be there and share in each other’s lives, no matter what stage of the game we were in. It’s very much a community feeling, were you can ask questions, get answers, make connections, and friends.

It’s important to me to find Alzheimer’s first survivor. No one should have to live or die in this manner. Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.

Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease. Please make a donation to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

end alzheimers

Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. This inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight against the disease!

When you participate in Walk, your fundraising dollars fuel our mission, and your participation in the event helps to change the level of Alzheimer’s awareness in your community. The Alzheimer’s Association provides free, easy-to-use tools and staff support to help participants reach their fundraising goal. While there is no fee to register, we encourage participants to fundraise in order to contribute to the cause and raise awareness.

Take the first step by finding a Walk near you or making a donation. Once you register, you will have access to a wide range of tools and support through your customized Participant Center. Join us and lead the way to Alzheimer’s first survivor. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease!

Exploring Innovative Residential Options for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease

The Founder and Director of the Dementia Village in Weesp, Netherlands, Eloy van Hal, will provide an operational overview of the renowned facility created in 2009 as an alternative to traditional institutionalized care provided in nursing homes. This village, for individuals with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairments, groups residents with shared interests and backgrounds in family-like settings in carefully designed environments emphasizing open, outdoor spaces and amenities like parks, a restaurant, grocery store and auditorium. It’s a new twist on assisted living, enabling residents to stay active with trained staff helping to maintain their freedom and abilities. Following the presentation, a panel discussion will focus on how to bring these innovations to senior and dementia-related facilities in New York.

 

Who:  Welcome and Introductions:
Hon. Donna Corrado, New York City Commissioner, Department of Aging (DFTA)
Judith D. Grimaldi, Grimaldi & Yeung LLP

Featured Speaker:
Eloy van Hal, Founder and Senior Managing Consultant, De Hogeweyk, Weesp, the Netherlands.

Panelists:
Rosemary Bakker, MS, Certified Interior Designer, Gerontologist, Author; President, Age-Friendly Design, Inc.; Author of AARP Guide to Revitalizing Your Home
Maria Alvarez, Executive Director, NY State Wide Senior Action Council
Timothy McManus, Vice President, Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples (POP) Development Corporation
Kenza Sijelmassi, Project Manager, Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples (POP) Development Corporation

Moderators:
Judith D. Grimaldi, Grimaldi & Yeung LLP
Britt Burner, Burner Law Group PC

 

When: Monday, October 22, 2018, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

 

Where: New York City Bar Association, 42 W 44th Street, New York, NY

 

2018 Out of the Darkness Walk #MentalHealthAwareness #StopSuicide

This past weekend, we participated in and volunteered for the AFSP New Jersey Chapter of the Out of The Darkness Walk. This walk helped raise awareness for mental health and to fight suicide. As of today it raised $122,000 and counting. There were over 1,100 participants walk in Verona Park alone – a great turnout.
walk to end suicide
Ever walker and donor is helping fund the research to help us better understand the complexities of suicide and how best to prevent it. You are making free education and resources possible for the community. You are the voice that advocates on behalf of those who can’t. And you support programs for those who have been touched by suicide. Most importantly, you are breaking the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide by standing up for this important issue, and showing those affected that they are not alone.
Please note that you can donate to the cause.  Please feel free to donate here! Remember, 84 cents of every dollar donated will go to suicide prevention.
Thank you for all you do to fight suicide and raise awareness.

4 Ways that hormones can impact your mental health

Mental illnesses have in the past 30 years shot up in men and women as well as children exceeding 8 million having a prescription in the U.S. Lifestyle and food culture have a huge impact on hormonal imbalances which is associated with mental health and here is how.

 

Adrenal Issues

 

The two stress hormones; adrenaline and cortisol can have a significant impact on your mental health if not they happen not to be balanced. This can result to one feeling anxious, depressed or even lacking sleep. Additionally, when in excess and when low, the stress hormones can have different mental impacts on you. When in excess, you will experience irritation, anxiety and nervousness. When significantly low, you experience tiredness, depression, moodiness, sluggishness and may have a difficult time concentrating. However, you can manage stress through the multiple known ways in order to keep your cortisol and adrenaline levels in check and this will in turn lower the psychological effect risks linked with the two hormones.

 

Estrogen and Mental Health

 

Every month during menstrual cycle, women often deal with issues that are quite out of their hand due to Effects of Estrogen Deficiencies and this often results to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). During a woman’s menstruation period, estrogen levels are low. Estrogen has an impact on serotonin and dopamine, which are chemicals linked to the brain, and are associated with depression as well as psychosis. According to statistics, 80% of women experience both mental and physical issues which are as a result of hormonal imbalances. Through a recent study, health professionals revealed Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), a condition that causes seasonal affective disorder, anxiety and severe depression as a result of hormonal shifts.

Also, while pregnant and during post-partum, women experience varying moods and emotions, and later in life during menopause, their hormonal changes result to brain fog and reduced sexual drive. If you thought men don’t experience mood swings and depression, they do: when estrogen levels are too high.

 

Thyroid and Mental Health

 

Inflammation and chemical stressors are the major causes of all thyroid-related problems. Thyroid issues can result from a leaky gut; when the body begins attacking and destroying all kinds of tissues, the thyroid included. If uncontrolled, thyroid activity has two extremes; hyperthyroidism, when it is overactive and hypothyroidism, when it is underactive. During hyperthyroidism, insomnia, depression, panic attacks, mood swings and anxiety may result and unfortunately in the past, women have been misdiagnosed with anorexia and panic disorder when they actually suffered from overactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism on the other hand may cause; fatigue, depression, moodiness and in rare cases anxiety.

 

Interference of Gut Secretion of Neurotransmitters

 

The gut contains multiple hormones and bacteria which act as signal transmitters. They signal digestion responses, immune responses and most importantly production and release of serotonin and dopamine. The signal for serotonin use -which is responsible for digestion, mood, appetite, social behavior, memory, sleep and libido- is through microbiome, a bacteria found in the gut. Dopamine, although in relatively small quantities is linked with happiness and contentment.

Gut issues are mostly as a result of antibiotics, which kill bacteria including these important ones. Microbiome takes more than three years to re-populate once they are severely damaged and even killed by one round of antibiotics. Due to this, it is advisable to avoid antibiotics not unless you have to take them, and if you do, make sure you eat fermented foods and take probiotic supplements.