Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum in partnership with Companis is initiating a monthly series on mental health and emotional well being. The first event takes place on October 14 at 5:30 – 6:45PM online via Zoom. It’s free and open to all.
Fear, prolonged social isolation, grief, loss, socioeconomic changes, and the ongoing pandemic are leading many of us to suffer from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress symptoms and substance and alcohol abuse. Youth and older adults are particularly vulnerable populations who often struggle in isolation.
According to Caroline Cumming, Folio’s Executive Director, “Many of us are suffering in isolation and we hope these conversations can support community healing and ease the stigma around talking about mental and emotional wellbeing.”
Each conversation will feature a guest sharing their lived experience. Members of the community will be able to share stories and ask questions.
Folio’s first guest in the series is Topher Jerome, Project Director for Harborview Behavioral Health Institute (BHI) and Lived Experience Advisory Board Chair at Jaspr Health. Among his former professional roles, Topher’s resume also includes service as a Companis Worker, in 2006 and 2007.
Topher brings a lifetime of relevant experience to his work. As a Project Director at the BHI, Topher implemented and manages a SAMHSA grant funded COVID-19 Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention program for emergency departments and inpatient psychiatric settings in WA. This program combines post-crisis peer support with the use of the Jaspr Health app.
Topher has over 15 years experience in information technology as a project manager, web developer, and as an analyst and educator in clinical information systems. As a multiple suicide attempt survivor himself, Topher brings a personal commitment to his work in suicide prevention. His lived experience led Topher to developing, implementing and supervising a variety of peer-support programs in intensive psychiatric settings, roles he managed for over 12 years. This includes the implementation of Peer Bridger programs in two publicly-funded hospital psychiatric programs in WA and serving as part of the leadership team for a community behavioral health agency.