The 19th annual Mental Health Education Conference sponsored by the Twin Cities Jewish community, “Creating Healing and All that Jazz,” will be held 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Temple Israel (2323 Fremont Ave. S., Minneapolis).
The event, which is free and open to people of all faiths and spiritualities, will feature a keynote address from Sam Miltich, a renowned jazz musician who lives with a mental health diagnosis.
In addition to the keynote address, the conference will offer two breakout sessions of workshops with 22 topics to choose from, covering mental health issues affecting youth to people in the later stages of life. Workshop topics include when it’s appropriate to seek therapy, addiction peer recovery, eating disorders, post-partum depression, suicide prevention, crisis intervention, supporting children and teens during school-age years, social media fatigue and much more!
Sam Miltich is a self-taught jazz guitarist born and raised in the woods of northern Minnesota. Sam burst on the scene in his teens as a young lion of gypsy jazz, joining Paul Mehling’s Hot Club of San Francisco and touring internationally with the world-renowned Robin Nolan Trio. In his early 20s, Sam suffered a self-described major psychotic break. He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia – a disease he thought would be the end of his music career.
Instead, Sam combined his own mental health journey with the desire to stop the stigma, fear, and shame he experienced. He created “The Improvised Life,” a performance highlighting cultural contributions of famous artists with mental illness and a mixture of music interspersed with his own personal story. He has performed this music all over Minnesota, sharing his story of hope and resilience.
At the conference, Sam will explore the intersection of mental health and the creative process in his pursuit of well-being amid the daily challenges of living with a serious mental illness. He will share his definition of recovery and the sense of purpose he cultivates through quality engagement in his career and family life.
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS) and Jewish Family Service of St. Paul (JFS) present the Mental Health Education Conference (MHEC). It strives to raise awareness of mental health issues, provide support for individuals and families, and offer education on topics affecting all ages.