The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at

ITHACA, NY – Locally and nationally, there is heightened attention paid to mental health issues, especially in light of increased suicide rates announced by the CDC in 2016. But what about wellness?

This subject will be explored in an upcoming panel discussion during the fourth annual Community Conversations on Mental Health: A Culture of Wellness on Tuesday, October 25that 7 pm in the Borg-Warner Room of the Tompkins County Public Library, 101 E. Green Street in downtown Ithaca.

The panel members represent a range of cultural and institutional perspectives, introducing diverse perspectives on the concept of wellness.

Speakers include Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director and Mental Health Commissioner of Tompkins County; Tenzin Choesang, Board President and Teacher, of the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies;Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, a Cornell Phd student, hip-hop artist known as “Sammus”, and member of Black Lives Matter; Sheila McCue, LCSW, director of After Trauma Services at Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service and a psychotherapist in private practice.

Sheila McCue, director of After Trauma Services at Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service says, “This year we are focused on the world around us and how that impacts mental health. We will be taking a look at a preventative approach to mental health care; sharing experiences of organizing for social change and its impact on mental health; how meditation and spiritual practices impact the quality of our lives; and further understanding the impact of life’s traumas and how to heal.”

Community Conversations on Mental Health is a collaborative project, co-hosted by Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service (SPCS), The Mental Health Association and The Ithaca Area Therapist’s Group.

This free event is open to all community members.  For more information call 607-272-1505 or write to

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.