Peace in presence

Heather Brown is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Art Therapist,  Advanced Certified Trauma Practitioner and owner of Brown Counseling, LLC. She facilitates a six week art therapy group and I had the privilege to attend one of the sessions. This group is open “…for anyone who values their own creativity and want to come to a safe space to playfully and meaningfully make art with others” and is held at Light Box in Detroit.FullSizeRender-2

Even though I was only able to attend one day, I knew the art therapy group facilitated by Heather Brown would be beneficial. Heather has such a calm presence that I always feel better just being around her and participating in this group felt the same. Initially, I was reluctant to attend and thought of a dozen other things that I needed to do. But realized my resistance to meeting new people and working in groups is exactly why I needed to go. I didn’t know what to expect and had never been to this particular area in Detroit before. It was easy to find the address, but the building itself didn’t show signs of being open and there was only one car in the parking lot. I thought maybe I was in the wrong place and would just go home… but I decided to drive around the front one more time and then I saw the word -Light – high up on one of the outside walls. I was in the right place. I parked my car and just as I was about to go in the building, Heather opened the door.

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Do you know the 2nd leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24?


Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. And for every suicide death, approximately 25 people attempt.

These statistics are even worse for LGBT youth and specifically transgender youth who are 41% more likely to attempt suicide according to reports from the American Association of Suicidology. This is unacceptable and also preventable.

I attended the conference, The Silent Epidemic: A Conference on Suicide, which was presented by Kevin’s Song, ..”a charitable organization dedicated to generating public awareness about the causes of suicide, its prevalence in our society and possible preventive measures.” The organization was founded by John and Gail Urso after the death of their son Kevin. Kevin’s Song will bring attention to the existing resources as well as bring more awareness to the public of the epidemic of suicide through conferences and workshops.

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend all three days of this meaningful conference. Thursday we heard from professionals at the Henry Ford Behavioral Services about their Zero Suicide Initiative, which is a commitment to suicide prevention. Thursday evening there was a screening of the documentary, “Death is NOT the Answer” by Director and Executive Producer, Keith Famie.

Friday was packed with sessions covering a wide range of topics including: Youth Suicide Risk and Bullying, EMDR as a suicide prevention, Social Media Skills: New Media for Messaging, The Hidden Risks of LGBT Youth, Military and Veteran suicide risk, and so many more. The sessions I was able to attend were very informative and I came away feeling more confident that I would be able to better assess suicide risk and actually have resources to refer someone to if needed. However, one of the most inspiring presentations was from Dennis Liegghio from KnowResolve. I was so inspired by his presentation and his personal strength to be able to move on from the loss of his father from suicide to creating an organization that educates and inspires.

Please visit the Kevin’s Song website for more information and be sure to attend the next conference!


National Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-273-8255