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Finding hope amid COVID-19 in Marblehead

Symposium an effort to bring positivity to the overwhelmed

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Amy Saltz knows a bit about what it’s like to endure the drum beat of negativity, to feel not only helpless but hopeless. She found a way out from under it all and she’s willing to share her path to hopefulness.

The local author, along with Ben Day, executive director of the Marblehead Counseling Center, Rabbi David Meyer of Temple Emanu-El and physician Dr. Harvey Zarren, will host “The Song Endures: Hope in the time of COVID” Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

“The point of the event is to try and bring some positivity to people,” said Day. “To be able to get to a place where we feel empowered and forward looking ... to provide a respite from this drum beat of negativity.”

Saltz is the author of two books, “An Essential Song” and “Finding the Song: Living After Attempting Suicide.” In her second book Saltz shares how she worked towards living a meaningful life after being maimed by a suicide attempt. It is, what she describes as, “the comprehensive, nonfiction version” of her first book, which she calls “a metaphorical story of love, loss, reclamation and healing.”

The aim of both books is to give people hope, which is something Day feels is much needed at the moment.

Between COVID-19 and the political atmosphere, many people are feeling an overwhelming sense of dread, feeling compelled to watch the news on an endless loop, or joining online group chats that never seem to end on a positive note.

“There’s fatigue for sure,” he said “And the reality is just when you start to feel better you find you still can’t take off your mask yet ... you still have to social distance. We know all the negative stories but can there be ways to find some positivity in this negative space we all occupy right now?”

Day thinks there is and Saltz could be that catalyst.

“Amy has a large following of people that have gained inspiration from her,” he said. “In this time of COVID she will bring some words of comfort that just might help people.”

Day said he understands that an hour long symposium will not likely help people overcome all their anxieties but he is hoping it will give them a break from them and maybe alter a trajectory or two.

“If one person finds a moment of reprieve, if we help one person cope for the day or provide them with a moment they can use for the long term, that’s worth it,” Day said. “We’re hoping it will be enough for people that don’t want to stay in that negative space.”

The event is free and open to all, but participants must register to get the link to the talk. Recent stories of online events being “Zoombombed” by mischief makers and in some cases racists have made Day and his group leery. He said rather than publish a link that could be accessed by anyone they prefer if people email the Counseling Center at info@marbleheadcounseling.org to register for the event or to request a free copy of the new book. And while the event is free, donations can be made to MCC at https://www.marbleheadcounseling.org/.

“Even if this is just an hour of respite we hope it will give people the drive to move forward,” Day said.

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