A Partnership with Bard Health, Counseling, and Wellness
With the support of the James Kirk Bernard Foundation, Bard Health, Counseling, and Wellness offered a 10-week student memoir workshop facilitated by the TMI Project in 2020–21. The series began with the first virtual workshop session in October. Students worked for months with trained facilitators to prepare a personal piece to perform at a live event at Bard College on March 11, 2021.
TMI Project: A Review from My Experience as a Peer Health Educator
By Nandi Woodfork-Bey ’23
Last Thursday, students from Bard presented one of its most moving performances that I have ever seen, thanks to a grant from the James Kirk Bernard Foundation and TMI Project. Since October of 2020, Bard students have been meeting on a regular basis to participate in a series of writing workshops with TMI Project. March 11 marked the culmination of all of their hard work.
The TMI Project is a mental health awareness, gender-equality, anti-racism, and LGBTQIA+ centered organization dedicated to changing lives through storytelling workshops. The TMI project has partnered with many schools, businesses, and other organizations through the years to work with students and leaders to help tell their stories in the most inspiring and impactful way possible. We were lucky enough to experience this last week through the stories of our fellow students in the Bard community. Here were a few of my thoughts:
The Stories …
I was delighted to see a few people that I recognized from campus on the screen. These aren’t people that I talk to every day, but hearing their stories was an incredible experience, and I gained a new level of appreciation and respect for each person. Some of the topics that were discussed were coming out, growing up with an absent parent, overcoming eating disorders, and navigating a physical disability. Each story was so unique in it’s own way, and the way in which each student told it with such raw emotion, empathy, and passion was beyond impressive. I saw a side of a few speakers I had never seen before and learned a lot about each person that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
My takeaways …
Something I loved was that everybody showed how they overcame their limitations, conditions, or fears. They made it clear that no matter what it is that someone or something has affected or changed in them, they still stand strong today. They’ve learned from these experiences, and they are still learning, but it hasn’t stopped them from being the best they can be. I think this is something we can all relate to: life is constantly going to throw challenges at us, whether big or small, but it’s about how we persevere through it and become better people in the chaos. Everybody’s speech was so beautifully written and performed; I’m really glad I went to the event. I hope TMI comes back to Bard in the future ... I’m sure many of us have some stories to tell.
To help to increase mental health awareness and learn about suicide prevention, please visit Active Minds. To learn more about the James Kirk Bernard Foundation visit here. Interested in TMI Project? check out their website.
As always, remember that Bard Health, Counseling and Wellness is here for you. Please feel free to reach out. We are here for you, as are your peers all around you.