Surfacing - The Meaning in the Story

A weekly Health, Fitness and Mental Health podcast
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Jenna and Dustin invited some special friends and supporters of the podcast to help them wrap up Season 1, talk through some of the themes that emerged, and reflect on the importance of story-telling in both personal growth and fighting stigma. Tune in to hear how we are pulling it all together and what the plans are for the future of Surfacing!
Our producer Dustin has been sharing pieces of his story throughout this season, as he connects with the guests around some aspect of their stories. We thought it was time for him to surface the whole story, and we are thrilled that he was willing to share so openly for today’s episode. Our hope is that his experiences will inspire and motivate someone who is walking the same path to reach out or accept an offer of help today!MHA Resources:’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP(4357) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Ben Zupnick shares his story of dealing with anxiety and depression throughout his life, what he has learned through that journey, and why he feels called to share his story to fight stigma. His story will be relatable to many, and we hope that it inspires you to never give up in figuring out what works for you!MHA Resources:
Ginger MacLeod is our guest today. She’s an MHA employee, volunteer and self-described “cheerleader” who has dedicated her life to helping others find meaning and joy in recovery. In the face of childhood adversity, toxic stress, and alcohol addiction, her journey reflects the powerful discovery of her own worth, which she now uses to help others find theirs.  MHA Resources: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Volunteer Spirit Awards:’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP(4357) 
Shari Applebaum joins the podcast today to talk about her journey of healing through helping after her son, Miles, died by suicide. We want to acknowledge that hearing about suicide can be distressing for some and emphasize that help is ALWAYS just a phone call away and The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgAmerican Foundation for Suicide Prevention: www.afsp.orgMHA Resources: Glimpse into the Music and Miles Event described in the episode:
Today we talk with Ian Gray, a Peer Specialist with MHA Westchester, who shares how his lived experience has shaped his career path and the way in which he interacts with others experiencing mental health challenges. His story offers hope and also helpful tips on how to support others through connection. Find out more about the programs he works with at the links below.OnTrackNY at MHA: Specialist Training:
Stephanie Keegan joins the podcast today to share how her son, Daniel, lost his life to addiction while struggling to address the trauma of his combat experience. She tells us about Daniel’s desire to impact systems in order to improve the experience and outcomes of other soldiers with similar stories. Stephanie has committed her life to honoring Daniel’s legacy. We want to remind you that there is never a wrong time to reach out for help! We are linking some resources below, as well as some organizations that Stephanie recommends for other veterans and their families.Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255, Press 1 Crisis chat at Or Text 838255MHA Resources: and Afghanistan Veterans of America: Assistance Program for Survivors: Star Families: 
Join us today to hear from Joseph Engelhardt, principal of Alexander Hamilton High School in Elmsford, NY. He discusses how key experiences in his early life (including the loss of his friend to an overdose) led him to the field of education, where his mission is to create a safe learning environment for students that emphasizes wellness. Hear how he has changed the culture so that, rather than being suspended or receiving detention, students learn skills to manage difficult situations.Want to hear more from Joe? Check out this recording of a recent Community Conversation on Men’s Mental Health, in which Joe was a panelist:
Listen in as Stephanie Marquesano shares how reading a poem that her son wrote before he died of an accidental overdose propelled her into a journey of advocacy to bring awareness to co-occurring disorders. She is the founder of the harris project, which you can find out more about at the links below.  Link to the poem can be found hereVisit the harris project at Twitter @theharrispro or by using #codaconnects or #bethelinkOn Instagram at theharrisprojectcodAnd on Facebook @theharrisprojectcod  To find out more information about the Encompass Program at MHA please click here
An interview with Joanne Api, a mother of two, who lost her husband to COVID-19 in April 2020. She shares openly her grief and struggles alongside her efforts to bring meaning to her experience. The content of this episode is understandably intense and may be upsetting for those who have experienced loss due to COVID-19. Please see below for resources and additional support:
Emily Esfahani Smith, author of the Power of Meaning, joins us for the inaugural episode of the podcast. She talks about the pillars of a meaningful life and how reflecting on the experiences that shape us tell the story of who we become. This conversation sets the stage for the guests that will join us throughout the season, sharing their reflections on their own experiences and journeys, making meaning in the process.Check out more from Emily at her website and on Twitter @EmEsfahaniSmith 
Welcome to Surfacing - The Meaning in the Story.  Listen as your hosts Jenna Velez and Dustin Loughan give a brief introduction to what you can expect this season.
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Podcast Details

Created by
The Mental Health Association of Westchester
Podcast Status
Feb 10th, 2021
Latest Episode
Apr 28th, 2021
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
39 minutes

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