SHARON, Pa. — Since 2014, Penn State Shenango has collaborated with the Community Counseling Center of Mercer County to host its annual “Stamp Out Stigma” (SOS) event. The event is designed to bring important information and awareness, as well as personal stories, about the stigma associated with mental health and drug abuse issues to the forefront of the community.
In honor of its fifth annual SOS program, the Shenango campus will host its first evening Stamp Out Stigma event featuring keynote speaker Jamie Marich, founder of the Institute for Creative Mindfulness, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Penn State Shenango auditorium. During the evening program, Marich will present an interactive workshop and teach techniques of mindfulness — a therapeutic practice designed to reduce stress and anxiety. Marich also will discuss her professional and personal experiences with recovery at an afternoon SOS program, which will begin at 12:15 p.m. in the Great Hall, located in Sharon Hall on Vine Avenue. Both events are free and open to the general public.
Marich is a local mental health clinician, author, TedX speaker, performing artist, expressive arts therapist, and recovery ambassador. Her friends and colleagues describe her as a renaissance woman. She unites these elements of her experience to achieve an ultimate mission: bringing the art and joy of healing to others.
“I am honored that I was invited to be the keynote speaker at Penn State Shenango’s Stamp Out Stigma event,” said Marich. “There is still so much work that needs to be done to educate the general public on the realities of mental health, trauma and addiction. Most people would look at me as a well-educated woman who has a lot of credentials to her name. What people wouldn’t see, however, is that I, too, was personally impacted by mental health issues. I look forward to sharing my own personal story in order to show that mental issues do not discriminate and, most importantly, that recovery is possible.”
Marich's career in counseling and human services began while she worked in Bosnia-Hercegovina from 2000 to 2003. While in Bosnia, she served as an English and music teacher, in addition to working freelance for other humanitarian aid projects. She also performed as a member of an international folk troupe at the Catholic pilgrim shrine of Medjugorje, and in 2002, she recorded her first CD of spiritual music, "Give Us Your Peace." Upon returning to the states, Marich partnered with Jim Stafford and began performing at singer-songwriter and folk venues in the U.S., while also staying true to her love of playing in church. Her next two CDs, "Under My Roof" (2004) and "Grace of a Woman" (2012) were produced in collaboration with Stafford.
As her career developed, Marich’s love for experience-oriented methods of healing and trauma resolution intensified, prompting her to explore the "conscious dance" scene and various ways of applying these "come as you are" practices into the healing process. Having completed several trainings and experienced other conscious dance practices at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts, Marich was encouraged and inspired to develop her own, unique practice, which now exists in the form of Dancing Mindfulness. She has taught conscious dance seminars at various conferences nationally and internationally, and to date, Marich has trained more than 100 facilitators in the Dancing Mindfulness practice.
Marich maintains a small private practice in the Youngstown-Warren area under the auspices of Mindful Ohio and travels the country for several professional continuing education providers offering instruction on a variety of clinical topics. She is the author of six books: "EMDR Made Simple" (2011), "Trauma and the Twelve Steps" (2012), "Creative Mindfulness" (2013), "Trauma Made Simple" (2014), "Dancing Mindfulness: A Creative Path to Healing and Transformation" (2015), and her newest book (with Stephen Dansiger), "EMDR Therapy and Mindfulness for Trauma-Focused Care" (2017).
For more information about this and other wellness events at Penn State Shenango, contact Tony Paglia at 724-983-2841.