Community Conversation: Suicide Prevention and Mental Health
Thursday, April 12, 6:30-8:30
At our enlightening community conversation on addiction in January, it became clear that another pressing and important issue of our day is mental health and suicide prevention. These intertwined topics both carry a certain taboo (historically especially in faith circles), and this taboo only makes the pain worse. If the Church wants to reach out to these aching and broken children of God, many of whom live and work among us, we must bring this conversation to the fore.
In this Easter season of New Life, let’s talk about how we as the Church can listen, respond, and work to bring life and healing to this broken world.
Light refreshments will be served. Each panelist will share some of their story and wisdom, and there will be plenty of space for questions. Invite anyone you think might benefit from this conversation.
Our panel will include:
Kelly Mohrman, Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Canandaigua VA and Social Worker
Joan Riesenberger, social worker at Webster Central School District and in private practice
Krisina Mossgraber, National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI)
Karen Heisig, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Michael Rehbaum, survivor
Kelly Mohrman, LCSW is the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Canandaigua VA Medical Center. She began 2012, serving as the Admissions Coordinator for the Domiciliary program (aka Mental Health Residential Rehab Treatment Program, MHRRTP), a 40-bed unit that works with Veterans in need for mental health, substance abuse, and/or homeless services. She now serves as Suicide prevention Coordinator, both internally and as an outreach for the community. Prior to her work with the VA, Kelly worked both in an Addiction Treatment Center, and as a hospital social worker.
Joan Riesenberger, Joan Riesenberger is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. She works for Webster Central School District as a School Social Worker and has a private practice specializing in psychotherapy for children under the age of 12 and their families. She has more than 18 years of experience working in social work. Joan has lived in Webster for more than 20 years with her husband and three children.
Krisina Mossgraber is a local mental health advocate, with a special passion for youth suicide prevention. She works with NAMI Rochester as the special event coordinator, running their annual walk and other fundraisers, in addition to being a community educator for them as well. She presents to groups of all ages and sizes about mental health and suicide prevention, including their fastest growing program, Ending the Silence, offered in schools, youth groups and other organizations serving young people. Additionally, she works with SafeSide Prevention, LLC as a lived experience advocate, using her firsthand experience with mental illness and multiple suicide attempts to better educate people in prevention efforts. When she’s not talking mental health, Kristina enjoys cooking, sailing, spending time with family & friends, and taking life one day at a time.
Karen Heisig, was born and raised here in Rochester and received an Associates degree from Niagara University before marrying her college sweetheart and spending 20 years in the Carolinas with her husband and two children. She returned to the Rochester area in 2009, several years after the loss of her husband to suicide. That same year, she started volunteering for the Western New York Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and after being on the Board for the last six years, she is now the Board Chair. Karen works part time at Veterans Outreach Center here in Rochester, but her true passion is education and outreach, bringing hope and healing to those affected by suicide.
Michael Rehbaum has spent his career in education, from teaching in an alternative high school in Virginia Beach, to his current position as the Director for Technology of West Irondequoit Central School District. He has struggled all his life with depression and anxiety, and multiple times has seriously considered suicide. He lives and thrives today because of a combination of counseling, modern medicine, and a loving, caring community. Ten years ago, the possibility that today he would enjoy a loving marriage relationship and two beautiful children seemed completely out of reach – and he is grateful every day!