Harford County Public Library Hosts Virtual Programs in Support of Mental Health Awareness Month


Author and artist Sandra Magsamen,  musician and mental health advocate Jordan Lally and author Kelly Jensen speak at programs

Harford County Public Library and Harford County Department of Community Services are hosting several virtual programs in support of Mental Health Awareness Month in May. 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. Each of the virtual programs is free of charge and open to the public, and 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 this event.

“Positive mental health is so important for overall good health,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library. “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.”

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

Sandra Magsamen Workshops

Author and artist Sandra Magsamen will lead a virtual program titled “A COVID Journal: Reflecting and Documenting This Past Year with 7 Days – 7 Questions” on Wednesday, May 12, from 7 to 8 p.m. Magsamen will take participants on a journey 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.

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, meditation and mindfulness 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. The film impacts viewers with its vulnerability, empowers them with its truth and inspires them with a grounded message of hope. A Q&A session with Lally will follow the film screening.

Lally, a meditation teacher, returns on Tuesday, June 15, from 7-8 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. A Q&A session will follow the workshop.

“Creative Expression & Mindfulness Practices” takes place virtually Wednesday, June 23, from   7-8 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. A Q&A session will follow the workshop.

To register for the events, visit https://hcplonline.org/vp-jordanlally.php.

Mental Health for Young Adults

“Mental Health Matters with Kelly Jensen,” virtually on Thursday, May 27, from 7- 8 p.m. features author Jensen as she discusses 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. 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.

For more than 75 years, Harford County Public Library has provided its communities with access to ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. Last year the library interacted with its residents more than 6.3 million times – borrowing free materials, visiting branches and the website, attending classes and events. In 2020, Harford County Public Library received the Graphic Design USA Inhouse Design Award. For more information, visit HCPLonline.org.

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