Yeah. Thank you for joining us on inside us and now. Two days I have a very special guest and her name is Karen rain is and she's the executive director for mommy Austin. Karen welcomed his show. Thanks so much for inviting me Kerry and I understand that there is a walk then Tommy Haas and is holding. On September 24. Would you be so kind to explain to our listeners. On what block Isabel yeah you bet it's actually our eleventh annual walk it's set called a non meanwhile it's taking place at the long center on the 24. And the numbing walked canisters a couple of purposes one of the things that it really strives to do is to raise awareness in the community. About mental health so it is actually the largest mental health awareness event in central Texas. We get about 2000 people that show up to the walk. It's a really joyous and celebratory day. Because it really is a day in which those of us who were mental health advocates gathered together we say loudly and proudly. That mental health is a topic that our community needs to be talking about it needs to be talking about in a really positive way. So our theme this year is join the movement and because over inviting people to do is to join the movement that's changing the mental health conversation in our community. And so it serves that purpose as as far as being in a raise and raising awareness and that the the other purpose of course ist it provides some support for all of the free programming we deal. It actually provides about 70%. Of the funding for all of our free programs so last year we raised almost 240000. Our goal this year is 300000. So it's quite a bit of many that we try to raise with a walk. In large part like I said we do all kinds of free classes support groups presentations train means in the community. And everything that we do is at no cost so that walk really provides the bulk of the funding that we use so that we can provide free. Programs in the community. But nets. A lot to the net get that is a whole lot. Let's take a step back real quick so what does nominee do for the Austin community okay. Where and it's I know he said dealing with mental health but I am I mean that's that's clarify for our listeners a little bit charity and some context sheriff. So not me is actually an acronym for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. So deny me started probably BF 32 years ago the one here in Austin army Austin was founded about 32 years ago. And it's primary purpose initially was really to provide education and support for the families and individuals who were most impacted by mental illness. So one of the things that we know is. Mental illnesses can be really challenging. To. To navigate kind of that whole system and to also navigate the treatments and I'll let other stuff so in the past and still today we know that a lot of families are oftentimes in isolation and indeed the year often not a whole lot of resources in the community for families when they get a diagnosis loosely. So what not he does is we provide these great classes so like we have a twelve week course called family to family so family members can go to that class. It's twelve weeks so every week you're learning something new about treatments about. What kinds of medications are required armed kind of really learning brain biology in Anders teeny all of the different the full spectrum of different kinds of mental health conditions. And then. The very last she classes are really what I call almost like workshops earth I was say it's like we're feeling that you toolkit and so we provide all kinds of great workshops on communication skills on. And making good problem you know been the problem solver when things are happen mean. Self care all those kinds of things and so what we're really aiming to do is a quick family so they can be a whole lot more confident and resilient. As they face any additional crisis that might happen in the future. And so one of the nice things that happens when somebody goes through those classes and they learn as much as they do about mental health as we teach them. Is we share and then some of the blame blame. Blaine who sorry but start that it doesn't and can't. So one of the things that happens as a sidebar to all of the learning that people do in these classes. Is they also get an opportunity to kind of shed all of the shame and blaming guilt that a lot of families walk in the door west. And the reality is that people don't recover well when their under this kind of dark cloud of shame. So it's really great to help them understand that mental illnesses are real medical illnesses now that they require treatment and medication and that recovery is possible. And so that's really important and we always talk about the fact that what we're really doing is providing hope and help so we do a lot of that we have classes for family members. But then we also have classes for individuals who live with a mental health conditions so we also have a ten week course for them. We have a six week course that we offer for families who have early onset of mental health conditions in the family so if you've got to have. Ten year old or thirteen year older high school that's having an early onset of something going on we have a class for you as well. And then we have support groups so we do a lot if support and education for the families that are an individuals who are most impacted by mental illness so where they're to provide. Education and support for families who were right there on the forefront of these kinds of mental health conditions. And then the anything that we do is provide all kinds of training and presentations in the community as well. So one of the big places that were do a lot of work in rhinos in the schools so we're providing. Education for teens middle school and high school teens as well as school professionals and in the schools. So it's really great as what we're doing is we're cooking them with an understanding of what the early signs of mental health conditions can look like as well as suicide awareness so that's really important. Just this spring we did that presentation culled Andy in the silence which is for the teens for 6200 kids jest and this spring while and actually. And 94 point seven radio host and it was actually very involved with doing the biggest presentation we've ever done of that at Westlake high school we did it for 2600 kids all at one time. And he actually co presented with us on at that presentation. So he's been a big supporter of the work we're doing because he knows as well as we do that the earlier that we intervene McPeak earlier a young person gets a diagnosis the much more likely that they'll have better outcomes in the future. One of the reasons that I'm really passionate about the work that I do is because I have a daughter who is now 24 years old. And that five years ago I almost lost her to suicide she was eighteen years old. A college student like all of us. You know that you directory that now I know lots of families experience in she went on to college she was doing. Academically really well I mean on the surface she looked like a kid that had it all together. But she was really embarrassed about the depression in the eggs ID that she'd been living with actually for a few years and we just didn't know how serious it was. Am and so again we talk about wanting to create community in which we can talk more positively about mental health. Certainly with teens that's one of the places that we know is sort an important. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages fifteen to 24 and in fact. And just this spring we had to study they came out from the center for health statistics that show that there had been the largest surge in suicides in the last thirty years and cake. So we know that that's just really important issues because in 90% of the cases we see a suicide there's an underlying. And treat your undiagnosed mental health condition. So we can catch those things early and make sure that kids don't get to that point and adults as well. We're very likely to save lives just by creating a community in which people feel comfortable saying hey you know what I'm really not doing well. I need some help I need somebody to top tier I might need to see a doctor. But we still don't live in the kind of communities where we heiress and comfortable talking about mental health as we talk about. All of our other public health concerns right. And what's interesting about that is actually. The prevalence rates for mental illnesses are one in five so in any given year one in five Americans will experience a mental health condition. That's 43 point seven million people in the United States so it has a higher prevalence rates and cancer diabetes or asthma. But we're just not as comfortable talking about mental health conditions as we are about physical health conditions. So we're really striving to. You community where we can do that. I ate a completely agree with you. I'm a millennium like I am in my twenties or more a year since then we'll know oh gosh two more months. I thought that I think. A lot of people don't realize how gave our mental illness crisis is in this country. Until they have a handful of friends I go through it. And I noticed it in my mid twenty's with some of my close friends and as is like. Wow where'd this come from like I you would never expected it always thank you said it like on the outside. They seem to be doing well. They have great job sir happy uttered they're exceeding and in all sorts of levels but then they just have this. Depression or this staying inside just eating them up and and it's it's hard for them to address to people even even as grown adults I think B these so they have some sort of shame that the only about and they just eats away at them day after day. Until it's until. Of really big breaking point for them. Yeah you're absolutely right I mean that's what we know in fifteen million people live with depression another thirteen million anxiety. And so what we know is it's really scary comment. But again we don't feel comfortable talking about it week we still carry this. This myth around that somehow if you develop a mental health condition and that means there's something wrong with you do something flawed with few. And so we don't see it for as the medical illnesses that they are. And so that's a big part of the shame and that you talk about and that's so common for us to hear that. You know and it's funny because we have a tendency. But the reality is that we would never think to say something like that about cancer like how could that person get cancer they don't look like the kind of person that could. So because we don't see them as illnesses we see them is you know flaws in personality York. Not as a mom I really felt that as kind of like I had failed as a mother that that's the reason my daughter had ended up in crisis. So you we it is so important that we start talking about mental health in the same way we talk about physical health I love what the World Health Organization says. They say that there is no. Health without mental health. And I think we really have to work toward integrating. So that when we talk about health we automatically know that it means both physical and mental. But we do separate those out and and so it's hard because we have to talk about it so we talk very specifically about mental health. But I really longed for and wish for the day when it will we will talk about health and will automatically know that we're talking about both that it's not the side by our absolute. We now if you're just joining us here listening to inside us and and I'm here with Karen Arenas. And she's the executive director for nominee Austin Karen of before we get back into the nominee walk that's happening on September 24. I'd and we're just having a really great conversation right now and for anyone listening. Two inside us and at this moment if they want to get more information on nominee. From may be someone that they know that may be mentally ill. Or maybe even to just just to go in and check out what nominee has to offer is their website as their phone numbers or someone they can you know get in contact with. You bet actually thank you for asking that. So we have a great website has all kinds of resources on an and that's non me Austin dot org so that's an AM I Austin dot works if you visit the website. We've got a crisis resource page which got I mean just a whole bunch of resources that are available both locally and online. We've also got a suicide prevention mom. Went tab as well that you can visits we've got to pay to have all kinds of crisis information. And then you can also call the office 5124209810. And then if you email. Info. At none meet Austan dot pork. We can sing you all kinds of resources by email as well we have a plethora of resources and information and that's really the other. Besides providing education and support in the community I really feel like that's our other purpose in the community is we have really become kind of the goatee. If you have a question about mental helping you don't know where to go where to turn to call us. Since you call 5124209810. Or you email us at info at nominee Austin got bored. If we don't know the answer will find it for you. That we've got a list of resources and great information and in a person that answers that phone and email who were just an idealist or greed of finding resources. Well I hope they're all. As prepared as communique here with you because I've never felt more comfortable on an interview at all like it like I've done several interviews some like if you're really comfortable and confident right now just speaking with the U. And I and I'm pretty sure that goes from you speaking to people on a daily basis about this. I do have a question it is a nonprofit so families with without insurance or they more than welcome to come in and stuff like that well. Again that's the great thing about everything that we do know cost we don't charge for any thing that we do so whether you call for resources. We have a lending library so if you wanna come men and borrow a book and I was tell people hey if I never seen a book again and totally OK with that. Make sure somebody else gets it who needs it. But otherwise people come and they are books they get resources there in our office as well every class you take every support group peace it and if you need is to come out tee you're. Girl Scouts to your. Faith community T your workplace and provide information we are happy to do that and we will not charge you a dime to do that. You know one of the things that we know is that particularly when families and individuals. Higher. And navigating really kind of serious mental illnesses and I know that this was true from my own family especially the first year of my daughter's diagnosis. I mean all of your resources are going to treatment and therapy and medication. And so we don't ever want cost to be an obstacle for people I mean we want them to know that there's a place that they can come to an access the help that they need. If they are need dean if they're looking for a counselor we've got a list of sliding scale or no cost counselors that we have that they can have access to. In week instantly connect them with resources in the community if if again if in cost is an issue for them will do the best that we can to connect them with the resource in the community that can help them. Harry Carey and so a lot of walks in Austin are pretty fun yes entertaining yes a year almost that your goal. We get there yet and there yet so what can people expect from a nominee locked us here on September 24 case of first of all I wanna make sure people know. That is free to register for the lock it is open to the public so anybody can come out and join us you can certainly register. At the site that day when you show up on Saturday or you can also go online to non me walks. Dot org back slash Austin. Or you can visit our website and we got on our landing page I mean there's a link to it. You know anybody can register we'd love to have you come out. It is a really fun day I mean you know one of the things that I know is that a lot of times when we talk about mental illness you know there's. It's kind of one of those topics that people don't feel comfortable talking about and and there is this kind of cloud over at sometimes and so we very intensely on that day make sure that it is a day about celebrating. We talk about the fact that part of what we're doing is celebrating the mental health warriors amongst us it was really great departure took my daughter to this a lot because we relieving and then you know she's young she's like 19% in go to this walk elicits a would you think in she said. I loved it and I said wryly. And she sees say yeah I really dead pool tell me why and she said well here's why she said because. This is the first place that I've ever come this the first time I've ever been someplace where someone like me gets celebrated. She said because anywhere else rank and its cues that person that was with depression during side you know there's this bill Nagin says she does that it was a really celebratory day. So walked is a very celebratory day we've got music we've got. Minis and friends which are some therapy ponies that we bring out every year. We've got to have their be dogs that are there as well we've got both a family tent so we've got all kinds of activities for kids but then we also have a weak public pause. Paz PAW as spirit ice tent and so we invite folks to bring their dogs as well and in fact last year was laughing because I set I think there's many dogs here today as there are people that. You know at this town yet and he can't rule that out. Right and soak in you know for a lot of our folks to live with serious mental illnesses they had their B animal also for them. It's a must that they bring their dogs with them so we love it I mean it's great so there's treats their for the dogs and water and whenever. And then we also will have yoga. It's we've got Austin moved up public library has a new bookmobile that they're rolling out so we're gonna be one of the first events that they've ever come to. It's if you go into the bookmobile there actually gonna have a whole lot of books about mental health available. For checking out right there on on site. And then. Day will be their disease are honoree watch her get in addition. Mayor Steve Adler is gonna be there to welcome everyone. A son and he's gonna be there around 8:45 AM strike has our program starts right at 845 so let me backtrack a little bit we actually all of the activity start right at 8 o'clock see you can come at eight. And there will be a place for you can purchase breakfast tacos and coffee if you haven't eaten yet. I'm an eking kind of just run around and participate in some of the activities that are going on and then at 845 we do start with a program. Mayor Steve Adler will kind of lead dad in terms of really welcoming everybody and seeing a few things and then. Jay will be there as well as well as a former mayor pro tem and Austin City Council member Cheryl Cole. Who actually be sharing for the first time I think in a very public way her own story of living with bipolar disorder. And then Darrell green will be there he is a former Washington Redskins quarterback and he is actually very involved with one of our big sponsor simpatico. And so he's gonna be there representing them and also just he's become a big mental health advocate as well so we got a lot of fun things planned at 930 will take off on the walk. And the walk takes us up to the capitol and back. Okay is going to be at the capitol Regan yes so we actually meet at the long center and then walk up to the capital and then back to the wants to okay coal zone and that's scenic. Let me yet on man it's a beautiful location it's a beautiful looking Weathers is getting just right now to where like the mornings and this nice and crisp and it's humid free for a little while and the most that we experience at this time of the year fall tends to happen so we've been really lucky we've had some beautiful days out of there at the long sentence that the beautiful view of the city Q we have a photographer out there that takes teen teen voters has been by people to come in teens. But they do group photos as well on the will also have a photo Booth for people to do their own photos just for fun so. But sounds like an eventful day I know. And do it all the time it's right because he does is a hundred mile Kurds want to get him well and so yes that's definitely a theme for him yeah so I am and I'm just glad he reached out to you meet soon and that she'd had a chance to come in here. And Karen before we we end the the interview would do you have any last words you'd like to have I think. Only thing that I really want to say is that if you're listening to this. Interviewed. And you've been struggling for awhile and have been reluctant to reach out. Please do they mean call us if you want somebody to talk to will connect you with our programs our support groups. We've also as I said got some great resources on our website as well and you know I think about my daughter in the sense that you know one of the things that she does now she does in the community telling her story as well. And I think one of the things that she always says as I regret not having said something earlier I wish I had had the courage to say I need some help. So whether you write it down or he text someone. Com or you call last. Make that first step because their reality is that so many times people don't reach out because they're fearful that they really won't get better that there is something flawed about them. But what we know is again people have the armed potential and capacity to get better and leave really productive successful lives. I mentioned to you that five years ago almost lost my daughter to suicide that. In the rough first year was a little rough. But just last summer she moved to Portland Oregon she's finishing up for college education at Portland State University. Hey she's going to be graduating in June with highest honors and more importantly she's happy. And that didn't happen until she reached down and got help and got the help in treatment and medication that she needed to help her get on that road so. It can happen so don't be afraid to reach out and get help. Karen thank you you're welcome thanks for having me. Again that was carrying grain as if you'd like to get more information on the nominee locked happening September 24 he can go ahead and visit not me. And hey am I walks dot org. Backs last Austin and if you like to reach out to nominee at any time of the year. You can go ahead and emailed comment and vote and not me Austin dot org again that's info. And not me Haas and dot org and don't be afraid he can go ahead and pick up the phone and give my call at 512. Or 209810. Again that's 512. Or 209810. And I'm Matt Alvarez and this is entitlements and. I. Were you born from 1945. To 1965. People born during these years or five times more likely to have hepatitis C but most people don't know they are infected so we even if you tried to eat right exercise and take care of yourself. You can still have hepatitis C a serious liver disease that often has no symptoms. In fact people can live with hepatitis C for decades without feeling or looking sick but over time hepatitis C can cause serious health problems including liver damage liver failure. Or even liver cancer. Getting tested is the only way to know if you're infected with hepatitis C that's why the CDC recommends. Everyone born from 1945. To 1965. Get a blood test for hepatitis C treatments are available they can cure this disease subtracting your doctor about getting tested it could save your life. A message from the CDC. Up next is Christine hammered. The founder and CEO of swan songs and swan science is. And experience in which musicians hope to inspire and honor. Through their performances are alive intimate performances for people. These personal. Concerts are well if it's kind of hard for me to describe. And some just gonna go ahead and let Christine tell you all about it. Christine thank you for joining us in studio today. The organization that term ball to with a. Is swan song thanks Chris can you describe to our listeners what swan songs as. I'm would love to thank you for having me on. Swan song this is a nonprofit that fulfills. Musical last wishes. So if there's someone who is near the end of their life who's facing a terminal diagnosis. And has loved music they can columns from songs and request. For a musician to come and perform for them one last time since they can no longer glad to hear them. And they can request. Any style of music. Or a specific local regional. My Austin musician. And we bring that to them. Now you said you're at the founder and CEO of swan song yes so what motivated you'd have found this nonprofit organization. The original inspiration I am first of all and then Austin musician and as my lifelong career I've lived in Austin since 1982. And I am a professional musician. So the Genesis of it came from the experience. A singing for someone who was a fan of my music and who used to come out with his wife and hear me play regularly. And he was very ill and could no longer come out and she asked if I would come and sing for him. At their home has name is John swine. And it was very moving as a musician. To take your music to someone and you know how much it meant to them. So the idea was born man and along with my friend and co-founder as a woman named Gabe Logan is Austin psychotherapist. And at the time she was very involved in hospice and together we created the concept of and swan songs it wasn't called swan songs that was in the early ninety's. I'm and it is if we did it informally for a number of years. I'm a much smaller scale but. Someone with with an illness like this at the end of their life could request music when I founded swan songs and 2005 her family. Created a nonprofit. And took the leap of faith to formalize it one of the reasons I did that. To create a structure for it so that we get to more outreach and more people could learn about it we can handle more requests but also so that we could raise funds. Too often the musicians and honorary him. So there's no charge to the family. For this but we do like to cave in musicians because we're counting on their expertise and their talent to their professionalism. And rather than constantly calling people and asking for favors felt. Have more integrity to me in as a way to support the music community and to acknowledge and their gifts. So this worked out very well so then in 2005. Actually founded. This. Iteration of the organization. So we've been growing slowly and steadily and surely for eleven years now. And that sounds wonderful line and absolutely. What more of a beautiful way of the night. To just listen to music music I mean for me and I think it's a lot of people have a love for mum. To have a live performance from have you considered just listening to something relaxing on you know around radio. Now you have like a performer like a couple of feet have you. Yes and it's very intimate and it's also. Tailored to that person. So what might be meaningful for me is not the same thing that would be meaningful for someone else and he and one of the surprising things for me over the years has been. The diversity of their requests and I really didn't expect that and it's. It's really a gratifying. Sometimes we just get on Google and we're doing and search for bag pipes and Austin you know if you can crest for bag pipes. Than ever share classical of this and we do a lot of mariachi. Polka. Right now or bring together one for big band music another one for sixty's music. Say it changes as Irish songs it's Spanish ballads it's you know. Opera. Choral music. Bette Midler songs you know whatever has been really special to someone. So there for the musician that's very powerful because you're going end. Knowing that what you do has been requested. That you're not. Questioning its already very sensitive environments so there's already a bit of you know here is your uneasy a little bit when you go into especially the first time as a musician. Because it's such a and have. Intense environment and there's so much emotion in the room. With dean recipient and especially the family members. And it is for family members that's a lot of whom we serve I think because it gives the family and the friends. Something to common gather around with their loved one. Rather than focusing on the illness they're focusing on the music and they're sharing something. And then if you add to that and the fact that the music. Is already a part of this person's history and a life and who they are. Everyone knows that everyone feels that and the musician feels the musician knows. You know this person who loves mariachi music so they go man open hearted and offer their gift. And it's. Surprisingly joyful most of the time it's very rich. And a lot of varying emotions that and rich and vulnerable. In our villains pretty wide open more imagination. I mean yet a packages. To some magic and I don't know just thinking about different relatives. That if I had access to this in my hometown that a six certainly my grandmother would have them loved to have had something. Like this in her own home especially on her like her last days were issued pushers motionless plane ride not move at all man. I don't know I would say even you speaking about are now under slave this is like so great that is where he's Haitian and you leave this. Yes now is almost like it's a no brainer again this is ours is disciple like we have this everywhere analyst wrote we're working on that yeah. The salute you you mentioned they're growing and your you'd give your name out there do you have any events. That that it that are really just re trying to spread the word. About Swanson on its own and what she did for the community right. Well we have we have an annual. I'm an annual event called the swan song this serenade. It's our annual fund raiser. NATO's features music and people bring guests and then they learn about the mission and then they come back the following year so it's a it's a music event. This year our guest artists is the Bellamy Brothers. And they're coming in to perform on October 20. At riverbend Centre for the arts. In years past weekend last year was Delbert McClinton the year before it was ray Benson. We've had Jerry Jeff walker allies to go to some and Jimmie Dale Gilmore and butch Hancock so we have a lot of support from the local music community and that's sad event. We do a silent auction. A live auction. A seated dinner an open bar and and then a concert. So it's it it's really a celebration of swan songs and it's also a way that we raise funds to help I'm support our mission. Throughout the year and we're constantly doing concerts in homes none so opportunities like this for me to spread the word in the community. Four. People to volunteer we're volunteers liaisons that attend the concerts and acts sort of says the the connection between the musician and the family. And the hospice and we have to concert managers on staff that do all of you organizing on the front end. And then we send volunteers to actually attend the concert and very gratifying work. So we have opportunities volunteer opportunities that are serenade her songs on serenade is our big public event. And right now we're. I'm putting together silent auction donations. And sponsorships. In at companies or individuals can sponsor table and invite guests and attend the event and provide us with in and the needed resources to keep. An organization like this going. So for volunteers and and people listening are now. The easiest way would be either go to swan song X dot org yes and there's I see it get involved mountain. Com and click on that and you can certainly go from anyone from performing to volunteering. Even donating. Am yes and we have. We developed some pretty. Robust forms on our website they're really helps because then somebody's interested and how volunteering at the front and the rear front end they fill out form and they tell us what their skills are and what days of the week they might be available and but they're interested in and and obviously. We then have follow up conversations and there are their realm of interest might change based on learning more about the organization but it gives us a starting place. Like some people know. That would be too intense I can't sit in her room during one of the concerts but I'm grade at ad man I'll come and help you in your office or I'm great and and fundraising and going out into the community and finding silent auction items where I was need help put that. But the forms on the website penny gives you some options to choose from and then we'll have follow up conversations. And I should say for the musicians as well that's the best ways to. Initiate contact with us because the first thing we're gonna do only talk to you on the phone is so what kind of music do you play in what are the styles and what are the different things and what. And there's ways to fill it out first we have a starting place and they can see all the different styles of music to choose from. That's not saying that. What they do if it's not on there isn't something that we're going to need to and so then they can fill out a narrative and describe more of what their strengths aren't. For instance one of her requests once was for Lithuanian accordion. And I would never thought to push checkbox of do you play live doing encourage we just deal is that when it comes we go well I think Ellen I ended up. Finding two. Posting on FaceBook and reaching out to friends in the eastern European music community in Austin and one person than me to another one to another looked at tape found person yes we did find someone come. Before. A musician gets involved it is there a trial period do they have to audition and there may be send a file an MP3 file to him. Yelled we do we actually do ask for her MP3 or. A link to a web site with music that reaching here and the swan songs is really at a we'll work at a professional level so we're really working there's a lot of musicians out there that. Would love to volunteer their time when her very generous and gracious. And who are not professional musicians are still might be just fine that we keep trying keep it at a quality and that professionalism that. When when these people going to a home they really rise to it and and put on a great performance because it is it's a concert. Now if you're just joining us you're listening to inside us and and I'm in the studio with Christine Albert CEO and founder of swan songs. Christine for listeners if they want a request. The concert have worked in the on their web site plan that. There's that you go to swans Feinstein or gay and there's also a form for that request a concert because there's a line information we're going to need upfront. The facility in the address and then patient's age and what the situation is and what kind of music. And then they'll get a call right away from our concert manager whenever concert managers DeLia are done on. And them and get more information. And then they leave concert managers go start looking for the right musician and then start coordinating would. The facility or a family event musicians. And liaison. And you can also if you're not you know if you don't wanna be online doing this. And you can go to our website and there's a phone number you can just call and it's 5124167926. So it's 512416. Swan. I was it was a lot of grace involved when I went to get if on number and that number was available that's it was all heck yeah message being exactly when that have a nice okay now I've got to stay committed I've got a phone number and quote you know you've you've been doing this for some time what what are we salute your fondest memories. And this hair there's so many of them but. And one. Powerful concert for me there was there was a woman that. Was very ill and they requested. Jimmy LaFave. From local songwriter and musician who is also a good friend of mine. And so I think the ones especially when one of my friends his music IRA he loved his involved it's especially emotional but. We went and Jimmy and John Inman has guitar player played for her and her home and her husband there. And they were such big fans of his that they had to his lyrics engraved in their winning fans but had never met him they just his music meant that much. So it was very emotional to see them together. Kind of reliving their courtship and their relationship through his music. And then I'm like a year and a half later I got a request and she was still alive. I think her. Heart had been filled with so much joy from that concert her I'm really thinks that she went into remission for a while. And then they said can we the second concert in the sky and Kennedy allies to go to some who's actually Don my very best friends and I'm so I got to go back again to that same couple but all their friends around. And they requested specific songs from allies and analyzes music plays. Behind the slide show on our website there's a slide show of photos from swan songs concerts is very powerful ones one analyzes songs called when we walk on. And she a lot of lot of songs that really. Very openly embrace and talk about that transition. And come passing over to another world another life. And so it was very it was very moving that they were requesting those songs because that's those are the those of what they wanted to say to each other and those are the kind of reassuring comforting words that they wanted to hear. At that time. Those so those two concerts for the same recipient. And who happened to be. Requesting very close friends of mine was I was pretty emotional for me you have I think I can imagine how. I'm like yeah a gratifying it's like. You know I. But we're starting with gay Logan. Who helped with the initial program and putting on songs together through all of the board members and all the people that have worked for us and all of our friends. And volunteers in the community it's definitely Bennett takes a village. And that support. Either I gain respect and appreciate it so much and when IA. You go into one of these concerts I just feel like. Together we have done a really good thing to create keep this going and let it grow. And we are growing it into other communities where we would like to do that we have requests all the time now. And we have a pilot program right now and then hospice in South Dakota. And I'm Dan. They just were very established they really want this program so they've adopted swan songs as part of there hospice of us are you really in place and I knew the people involved and you lot of musicians out there. So we decided to go forests and as a pilot program I just got back from their last week. And they've they've adopted swan songs and through the relationship with them. We're kind of creating the template. For how we answer that question now one other communities come to a customer not quite ready but we're getting closer all the time so we can say yes you can have a swan songs and this is how you do it. Well I can only imagine it's it's as an artist have and must do well the most rewarding feelings. To see. Here just to see your work move and so many people as it on one intimate setting. Now the swan songs is around you around so anybody can come in their request. A concert at any time that through and through your web sites wants audience dot org. But numb and we do have the fund raiser on October 20 yes October 20 at riverbend Centre for the arts and now and analog. While donating is is I'm sure taking all year round. You know assert is there anything that you would like to have. On Glazer says that because right now on between now and he event on October 20 we have I knew. A new project annual. Initiative that we're going to do every year called remember and reflect. Where people can donate. In honor or memory of someone who's close to them and they don't have to have passed away. I'm not quite often it is in memory ones or an honor someone that has meant a lot to you. And we're building a virtual wall at our website at photos if you'd like to submit a photo so you make. A donation for instance. And I you know we donate my husband and I donated in memory of my mother in law so there's a picture of her on there. And at the event on October 20. At riverbend Centre. We'll have physical wall right now as a virtual wall on our website and then we'll have photos and the names of all the people who have been donated in memory and a and starting next year we hope to have it evolved into an annual gathering a memorial gathering for all the families that we served and so that all of us. Families. And the musicians and the liaisons that attended concerts can all come together and threw to celebrate the lives of the people that have been touched. And so this year we. You know we've we created this. Recently so we didn't have time to pull that together but we're looking ahead to next year to have. Sort of or her an opportunity to remember and reflect as the name of it. So we don't lose touch and our families they have a chance to come back. When there may be a little bit more removed from the intensity is losing their loved one they can come back and remember them again. Poker seemed. I wanna thank you for your coming in today and that's and and speaking about this spreading the word. I hope it. Honestly goes everywhere my head I can visit it sounds like a great thing down. And there's a lot of artists out there is a lot of talented people and there's a lot of people that would certainly love to listen music. Yeah I think so there's the other is a wonderful network of musicians all over the country to be. Pretty easy to tap into and you know got a thing called the worldwide web Obama. They enter aware of the. I think is seen thank you for joining us that I. I thank you so much for their opportunity really appreciate it. Swan song serenade turning sixteen with a Bellamy Brothers is October 20. At the riverbend Centre for the arts. For any information on the event or to get involved with swan songs yourself. He can visit swan songs dot org again that's X one SW pain and songs. And going to Eagles. You're going to need us and. I. All of its. It's going to need or technical skills and I'm Max yeah engineering students. He's feeling the heat that's how quick you want to. Yeah and this is. You're going to need their organizational skills a problem solving skills. Is going to need a determination. Our aunts our compassion. You're going to need the next generation of leaders to face the challenges of the future will bring. And we comics but people. Today. For age is going the next generation of leaders. Support adds I have four age and go to work. What have you been up to the conviction have to act in the past couple years. Well and the most exciting thing that's going on is that I have joined forces with the yoga yoga which is one of them premier. Give us places and Austin area. And they are willing to do a teacher training program in the prison itself. And the idea is to teach that inmate has teach and then populates. The prison system itself like send them to different units. Have them become the yoga teacher for the unit and so I instead of me having to find free world teachers to do there. To do yoga program this we're gonna park try to populated with inmate teachers. Well that makes some sense because I think it's so much more logical right now absolutely Anglo Irish remember you talking about you were teaching at five prisons and you were driving all the time. And and this is a volunteer program to the silly gimmick takes you two to four hours just to get to present the becomes quite a volunteer projects. Yeah there was one in my days was it on a Tuesday or would go to Tennessee colony in it would. I would jarred our lead at 5 in the morning and get home at 930 or ten wow and I would teach in three prisons and one day while they there was. They have there's a lot of clusters of prisons in Texas the B. Four or five units within driving distance of each other. And it's just. I think probably what happens is the state has a land out in those areas in the very remote. So they put these little prison clusters out there Bryant. And so it's actually been beneficial for the program because I can just after the cluster grab us several places. But the reality of the remoteness of the presence is just it's not working anymore. For sure and it's not sustainable like if you wanted to find free world yoga teachers on to alleviate the burden off of yourself that's you've got to find people who are willing to to do the drive so that's what makes so much sense. To have the prisoners themselves who are entrusted to become yoga teacher trainers certified against attack. And really like command and out of that. Still go to the hot he's unit and gates felt. And then me and dad are. Really that are hard core outcome in my class and have been coming in my class for several years are very interested in learning how to teach ten Tommy thought so it's I think it's a great opera. Yeah it's an absolute win went so yoga yoga is partnering with you on this venture and when does it all gets started CO NS begin the process of that teaching the inmate's right. Right. Well it's this is a new program. And so this is not something that has actually been approved by the prison system itself apart. Our I had submitted. A new program proposal to Huntsville. It as it's actually it's somewhere in the deciding process is. Send it on June 24. And I still haven't heard it was actually last week that Iraq was able to finally confirmed that they had received it. Oh wow yeah it was tough even chests and they know it's had a look at it. But that's that's very much have a system kind of works you know it's there's a lot of bureaucracy so one arm. The system doesn't even know what the other arm is doing. So like I have to go through the volunteer services department. Which is organized in and conducted by people that are paid right. But like everything that's considered rehabilitated. Is done through the volunteer services and cut so. The Texas prisons are completely reliant on volunteers to even make. Any level of rehabilitation happen ma there's no people that are. Designated. This guy's in charge of rehabilitation. So make sent home. So and so historically it's all me and church based offerings home they do you have like educational and vocational. But those in those are go on within the system itself and there are people that like a paid to manage that aspect ever like go have. Metalworking Sharpton and one of the units and you know. Here you know various different trades that the men can learn how to do. That. Anything that's done that's considered even remotely religious or spiritual has to be done to the volunteer system I say. OK so. What happens now as you yet to get to that initial. Block of bureaucracy. In each submitted to the volunteers. People. And then they submitted some birdie and then that person submits it to somebody else and so who knows where it is how I know from getting per fifty. Very definition of red tape yet very that's yeah. If you're just not joining us on inside DOS and I'm speaking with Jim Freeman he's the founder of conviction yoga and I guess when you first started. Teaching yoga in Texas prisons. I mean. Did you have the sort of bury your sentry TU with the bureaucracy like gained knowing it was actually easier getting going Bennett is to get this new aspect. The program approved it was in the very beginning is very frustrating because out of and you know I just made the decision that I was gonna do it and so I started calling that prisons that were closer to Austin. And said hey wanna teach yoga pitcher. Facility and I'll always ended up having to talk to the Chaplin. Tend to get that idea started and they know we say no like. We have heard no probably 25 times went from 25 different units head home and then finally I'd kind of snuck into the back door I was. There was a group that was teaching Christian meditation. And one of the teachers that was coming and going into the prison to teach the meditation and was teaching them yoga poses. And then they decided won't it would be cool if we can get an actual yoga teacher to do this and so. Somehow we found each other and it's a kind of long crazy story that we for a nation that. But then I started going in without them. And then I figured out like if I go in as the eastern religions. Eastern religions volunteer they can't tell me now I think. Because it's a right to religion issue for sure. So that's the tack a sort of take after awhile. And then but I still have to column and say hey I'm not eight I want to be an eastern religions volunteers and the chaplain can say yes Fernando. I'm like he can still decide no. In in usually it's always based on this idea of like we don't have anybody in this prison that's eastern religions. So it's kind of been. I'm like I've been trying to get into the female side of things which almost all of that goes on and gates which is the two hour drive from Austin. And have all of had to read books. Wow I would thought it be easier for you to get into women's prison to TJ advantages and and Ryan considering their. I think most yoga practitioners. Mean there's only 80% as FEMA twenty Friday our gas somewhere in that range. And they're just making the decision like announced that eastern Malaysians on their paperwork than every here's NB interest in Kenya Barack which I'm sure entrees not sure how that's frustrating bureaucracy. At its very well. Better remember like we're dealing with a very remote areas. So they and in all the chaplains are always christianity based share. The reality of it is it's it's a more fundamental mistake mentality. In rural areas right in mean moral you're more likely to. Come across fundamentalist Christian and in a remote area mare right that's and that's kind of trip sure so these guys don't think that things like yoga. Offer anything that value we'll share cashier trying to tell people may be who've never done yoga. That this will be valuable for inmates riot. And city don't have a personal experience with that it's hard to see the value some time attract and unfortunately because our culture has adopted you know this is a primarily as any other physical activity right like athletic yeah yeah so the but it's very spiritual. And then he had the mental benefits. Heard you know just connecting your breath here movement by itself teams has is huge and mental benefits now and you know so especially people that are in better incarcerated. Not any five I mean I would probably say it's higher percentage of the people that are blocked it's from they had experienced. I'm resolved trauma. No matter who. And there's team like there's the one of their disastrous like fish to primary responses to and result trauma it's addiction and violence. I'm in pretty much everybody gets locked up for it during their for one of those two things how your right hand. So. You know and just the that it's just. So well documented that my infamous activities yoga meditation center. Is all really great for resolving unresolved trauma. Acute even have to know what the trauma is you can put somebody in a yoga class. And the torch from the trauma can work its way out of their marquee. I mean they're they're being able to scientifically document this far to travel and crazy that is. That's powerful stuff. Yeah so there's really out of can't imagine a better popular. More. Population it's better suited now to have you been presented to them. Which is why it's all the more frustrating for you in this current position the trend because where you were teaching a five prisons now you're only able to teach at one right right so. The other guys are trying to carry on without you Mamie. But it would be so great you'd be so instantly valuable. T for Huntsville to approve this this next phase of your program which is the partnership with the NB Endesa that your actually training the inmates to become. Uncertified themselves to teach our how. So you know it's a twofold thing you know they become like the unit yoga teacher. And so they get that opportunity to help others you know and other people benefit from the yoga practice. And then when they get free. And they have a vocation and the potential application prone so there's it said you know and it's a double whammy they get to do great things inside to help. Like ease the suffering of being out there Dora the world suffering has eased the tiny bit Sharon some people in prison that aren't suffering is much more sure. It surely it makes some sense that yeah you want your your your citizens your incarcerated. You why they're suffering these because if it doesn't I mean. Most of those guys are getting now rat and if they haven't learned how to deal with their difficult emotions. In any way then to. Why would they behave differently when they get out of prison run for. I just what my what my argument always is is like you know if if a guy goes prison he's in their for ten years and he literally nothing has changed for him. He's going to be standing in line at the grocery store someday next year that's right right and do you really want. Him home with completely that hasn't changed completely at all do you really want him pretty. That's great question. Yeah. In your body not just physically but like your home mindset like what you're talking about the practice of mindful that so. So breaks my heart a little bits and that you hear each cell on the way with this concept and it blew peace so beneficial to folks. If only can get the approval and I can just say is you know God's being good like T you think you I'm gonna stick with it that. I'm not going anywhere so this have to do when the summer outlook for instance if it can edit and. Well I hope it's sooner rather than later makes it much. Oh the book lovers hot it's too healthy for warrants and the nature lover's heart it flies tying him to turn. The hardest someone pulmonary hypertension. Often misdiagnosed his Asman is unfairly stressed and can fail at the pulmonary hypertension association we went PH patients to. I'm. We're putting our heart in designing its European. You weren't PH association dot org that's PH association title work.