Letter: Aspen stronger for the better | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Aspen stronger for the better

Oct. 14 marked the second annual Changing Brains, Changing Lives Symposium presented by the Aspen Strong Foundation. Years ago, founder Christina King had a vision to ease the process of reaching out for help, raise mental-health awareness, aggregate resources, and educate, inform and connect the community. Driven by her own personal experiences and support from Lawrence Altman, the Aspen Strong Foundation was born.

Through her connections with other Aspen mental-health advocates, she and Kathy Hedberg founded the Changing Brains, Changing Lives Symposium, where community members can come together to learn firsthand from thought leaders ranging from New York Times best-selling author Tina Payne Bryson to The Momentous Institute to Aspen’s own Dirk Schultz. A sold-out event was highlighted by Aspen Strong board member Parker Condit, providing a rousing call to action for all attendees to take mental-health screeners, one of the tools offered by Aspen Strong.

The message we received throughout and following the symposium was one of resounding support for good mental hygiene in our community. As expected, many mental-health professionals were in attendance, but overall it was a surprisingly eclectic group. The diversity of attendees reinforced the notion that mental health and good mental hygiene is not limited to a particular subset of individuals but something that affects everyone here in the Roaring Fork Valley. We are so proud of how the community has supported our efforts and has taken steps to invest in their mental health. And for that, we thank you!

We also want to thank our sponsors. First and foremost, The Gant was incredibly accommodating not only on the day of the symposium but also in planning, marketing and orchestrating such an event. The symposium wouldn’t have been possible without our co-founder Kathy Hedberg and the following sponsors: The Jane Schuss Donor Advised Fund, anonymous donors, Aspen Valley Hospital, The Aspen Times, The Buddy Program, Timberline Knolls, Roaring Fork Neurology, Elements Behavioral Health, Rob and Kate Holton, Mind Springs Health, CeDARs and Eating Disorder Center of Denver.

Finally, everyone working at the Changing Brains, Changing Lives Symposium was there in a volunteer capacity, so we would be remiss not to thank all of the volunteers for their time and support on the day of the symposium as well as the months leading up to the event.

The Aspen Strong team

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