Bringing mental health conversations to the state of Pennsylvania

In collaboration with Collectively Rooted, HEAL PA’s team of grassroots trauma aware expert volunteers who form HEAL PA’s Action Teams will join an ensemble of renowned thinkers, authors, and presenters who work in the field of trauma recovery. In 2024, we will explore subject topics that are deeply relevant to Pennsylvania residents and will give our community space to reflect on, identify, and address the trauma in their lives and communities. 

  • Live conversations will be scheduled monthly around lunchtime each day
  • These events are free to attend for Pennsylvania residents. Recordings will be available for members. Anyone can be a member of at no cost to access this and other amazing resources! Join now.

Upcoming Presenters

Check back soon!

June Lunch Hour:  Internal and External Barriers to Black Men Exploring their Mental Health
Featuring Kyle Carter, Dr. Jonathan Harold, Fr. Paul Abernathy
June 13th at 12:00pm

Join us for an insightful one-hour webinar as we delve into the critical topic of “Internal and External Barriers to Black Men Exploring their Mental Health.” This webinar brings together a panel of experts, including Kyle Carter and Dr. Jonathan Harold to explore the multifaceted challenges that hinder Black men from prioritizing their mental well-being.

The discussion will confront the stigma surrounding Black men’s mental health, acknowledging both internalized and external pressures that prevent open dialogue and seeking support. Panelists will dissect societal factors such as historical trauma, systemic racism, stereotypes, and cultural norms, which intersect to create unique barriers for Black men in accessing mental health care, culminating with proactive strategies and interventions to dismantle these barriers and foster a supportive environment for Black men’s mental health. 

Central to the discussion is the imperative of nurturing the next generation of Black male leaders. By equipping youth with the tools to recognize and address mental health challenges early on, we can break the cycle of stigma and empower future leaders to prioritize their well-being. Panelists will explore innovative approaches and mentorship programs aimed at building resilience, fostering emotional intelligence, and promoting self-care practices among Black youth.

Whether you’re a mental health professional, community leader, educator, or ally committed to advancing equity and well-being, this webinar offers invaluable perspectives and actionable steps to support Black men’s mental health and cultivate a generation of resilient and empowered leaders.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a transformative conversation that transcends barriers and paves the way for a more inclusive and supportive future for Black men’s mental health and leadership. 

April Lunch Hour:  Strength in Unity: Nurturing Resiliency for Survivors of Sexual Assault
Featuring Lauren Weingarten
April 23rd at 12:00pm

Join us for a compassionate and trauma-aware edition of The Lunch Hour. In this special episode, we will be joined by Lauren Weingarten. Lauren is not only a Credentialed Victim Advocate but also a Trauma Support Specialist, bringing a wealth of experience and empathy to the discussion. As the voice and founder of the MTMV Community Support Network, one of the pioneering online-based support communities for survivors and their supporters, Lauren will share insights on healing, resilience, and the importance of fostering a safe and supportive environment. This program aims to provide education, empowerment, and a space for reflection as we navigate the sensitive topic of sexual assault. We encourage all participants to engage with respect for the potential triggering nature of the subject matter and ensure a supportive atmosphere for survivors and allies alike.

Lauren Weingarten (she/her) is a Credentialed Victim Advocate and Trauma Support Specialist. She is the voice and founder of the MTMV Community Support Network, one of the first online-based support communities established for survivors & supporters of survivors. Before MTMV, Weingarten had a successful, decades-long career working behind the scenes in TV/Film production. She has since found purpose in understanding trauma and leading conversations surrounding abuse and sexual violence to build and foster a community amongst survivors and their supporters. With years of advocacy training and trauma education, Weingarten has focused on developing survivor-led peer support groups, workshops, and virtual community events bridging local and global communities alike. She also works as a Consultant helping research teams and professional organizations strengthen their survivor-informed care. Her best friend is a pup named Tofu and she loves pizza, falafel, and tending to her plants.

March Lunch Hour: Redefining Disability and Embracing Resilience
Featuring Matthew Sanford
March 22nd at 12:00pm

Join us for an uplifting session with author and adaptive yoga instructor, Matthew Sanford, as part of Resilient PA’s The Lunch Hour series. In this thought-provoking conversation, Matthew will delve into the transformative power of redefining disability, challenging conventional notions, and sharing insights on what it truly means to inhabit the only body you will ever have. Gain a fresh perspective on resilience, self-acceptance, and the incredible strength found in embracing one’s unique physical experience. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the intersection of mind, body, and resilience with a true pioneer in the field.

Matthew Sanford is an expert in the process transformation through the healing power of yoga. Paralyzed from the chest down at age thirteen and beginning yoga at age twenty-five, Matthew knows firsthand the transformative effect that yoga can have on the mind-body relationship. He is an internationally recognized yoga teacher for people of all abilities, a sought-after public speaker, and founder of the non-profit Mind Body Solutions. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence (Rodale: 2006). He is also a collaborator with Bessel van der Kolk (Trauma Research Foundation), featured presenter in both their certificate program in trauma studies and at the Boston Trauma Conference. For more information:

February Lunch Hour
Featuring Dr. Aimie Apigian, MD MS MPH
February 8th, 12:00pm

Dr. Aimie is the founder and CEO of Trauma Healing Accelerated, and is most well known for bringing the Biology of Trauma® to the fields of medicine and trauma.

She is a double Board-Certified Physician with Double Masters degrees in Biochemistry and Public Health. She started with 3.5 years of general surgery residency before changing her career path to Preventive Medicine, Addiction Medicine and Functional Medicine with the goal of specializing in Trauma, Attachment and Addiction.

Fueled by her experience as a Foster Parent and then adopting then 4 year old Miguel during medical school, she had her initiation into trauma and attachment which ultimately changed the trajectory of her life and career.  In addition to all of her advanced functional medicine, mental health nutrition and addiction medicine trainings, she has been trained in multiple trauma therapy modalities with Dr. Peter Levine, Dr. Steve Porges and Dr. Richard Schwartz, allowing her to incorporate Polyvagal Lens, Somatic Work, Art Narrative, Attachment and Neurodvelopment, Relational Trauma Resolution and Somatic Parts Work into her approach and courses, bridging the worlds of functional medicine, neuroscience and trauma.  Her mission is now to help 1 million people accelerate their trauma healing journey by addressing the Biology of Trauma®, and to bring the model of the Biology of Trauma® lens to every medical and mental health educational system by the year 2041. 

She has hosted 3 annual online Biology of Trauma® Summits with >200,000 registrants, hosts the Biology of Trauma® podcast, was recently interviewed by Gabor Mate highlighting her work and publicly endorsed by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps The Score, that she and her work are the future of trauma.  She is a frequent guest speaker on the topic of stored trauma in the body and an invited speaker at the annual Oxford Trauma Master Series Conference and other trauma and attachment conferences around the world. She most loves designing and guiding individuals through integrative and experiential trauma healing journeys and training professionals on Biology of Trauma® lens through her certificate training program. 

Uplifted Together – Community Healing and Joy
Featuring Dacher Keltner, PhD
January 11th, 12:00pm

For January, we are pleased to work with the HEAL PA Community Outreach and Communication Action Team that is in charge of creating clear communications and facilitating outreach opportunities in communities across the commonwealth. They manage all internal and external HEAL PA communication, outreach, and marketing needs.

Join our host Maryann McEvoy for the first Lunch Hour of 2024! Uplifted Together: Community Healing and Joy will feature expert Dacher Keltner. In this engaging one-hour session, we will explore the profound connections between community well-being, happiness, and the awe-inspiring moments that bind us together. Drawing on his expertise in positive psychology and the science of happiness, Professor Keltner will share practical insights and strategies for fostering joy within our communities. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect, heal, and uplift each other in the spirit of togetherness.

Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the faculty director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. A renowned expert in the science of human emotion, Dr. Keltner studies compassion and awe, how we express emotion, and how emotions guide our moral identities and search for meaning. His research interests also span issues of power, status, inequality, and social class. He is the author of The Power Paradox and the bestselling book Born to Be Good, and the co editor of The Compassionate Instinct. His newest book Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How it can Transform Your Life was released in January 2023.