HUDSON – Mental illness has been a dark, ugly secret for many, but a leadership group hopes to raise awareness and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health issues.

Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Hudson Clocktower, the Leadership Hudson Class of 2019 in May announced plans to address mental health, a growing concern in the community and developed "State of Mind: Hudson" which will take place from Oct. 6 through Oct. 10. Programming details, including dates, times, venues and speaker information is available on

"I applaud the effort to provide an opportunity for our community to address important mental health issues," said Mayor David Basil, who read a proclamation Sept. 17 in recognition of the initiative at the Hudson City Council meeting. "Hudson is an incredible community, but we are not immune from the challenges of such concerns."

Beginning Oct. 6 community members will have the opportunity to hear from a variety of mental health professionals on topics of depression, anxiety, stress and other common mental health issues. Access to events throughout the week will be hosted by Hudson businesses and organizations and is free to the public. The campaign will conclude on Thursday, Oct 10, with a screening of the film Angst, a documentary designed to raise awareness around anxiety. The screening is sponsored by Hudson Community First.

Emily Nelman, member of the Leadership Hudson Class of 2019 said they wanted a good variety of topics because mental health is not limited to one particular issue.

"We established a subcommittee who handled all the outreach and vetted the different professionals who expressed interest in the event," she said. "It was a lot of work."

They included the community with volunteer opportunities, especially with providing the venues. Members of Junior Leadership Hudson expressed concerns over the tremendous amount of stress they are under, Nelman said. Many of the topics are targeted toward younger people.

"The mental health aspect of our community cannot be taken for granted, and this is an area we could make an impact," she said.

Four topics are scheduled each day and last approximately one hour. More information can be found on where they can sign up to attend.

Oct. 6 Children's Mental Health: Importance of Pets at 11 a.m. at Hudson Springs Park, 7095 Stow Road, with Rita Aggarwal. Elementary and Middle-Schoolers are invited to join with or without their parents to learn about stress reduction, interact with some animals and walk the 2.2 mile trail around the lake.

Oct. 6 Fair Fighting for Couples and Families at 1 p.m. at CYCLEBAR, 99 First St., with Melissa Coan, who will discuss the topic of family relationships and improving communication. Attendees can pre-register for a free, 30-minute indoor cycling class after the presentation at

Oct. 6 More Than Just a Pet: The Stress and Grief Around Aging Pets at 4 p.m. at The Veterinary Center of Hudson, 5980 Darrow Road, for insight into the grief experienced during the loss of a pet.

Oct. 6 Talk Saves Lives: How to Make a Difference in Your Community at 7 p.m. at the Malted Meeple, 53 Milford Drive, with Dr. Kristin Bruns on how actions can make a difference for those struggling with mental health issues.

Oct. 7 Recognizing Symptoms of Depression in Ourselves and Others at 11 a.m. at First Congregational Church of Hudson, 47 Aurora St., with Kristin Bennett Keller, who will discuss the signs and symptoms associated with depression for ages 12 and older.

Oct. 7 Dealing with Anxiety in Our Fast-Paced World at 7 p.m. at All Around Cyclery, 46 Ravenna St., with Amanda Shaluga for all ages to better cope with anxiety.

Oct. 7 How to Be an Emotionally Resilient Parent at 7 p.m. at Hudson Montessori School, 7545 Darrow Road, with Dr. Christine Elliot for parents and caregivers of young children (infants, toddlers, preschoolers) and building emotional resiliency for better parental outcomes.

Oct. 7 Transitioning to College & Taking Care of Student Mental Wellness at 7 p.m. at Estrela Consulting, 38 N Main St., with Emily Ribnik for students (and their parents) who are either just starting college or entering college within the next year.

Oct. 8 Managing Stress Through Life Transitions at 11 a.m. at The Learned Owl Book Shop, 204 N. Main St., with Alicia Hall for anyone experiencing significant life changes, including a new baby, becoming an empty nester, newly retired or undergoing career changes.

Oct. 8 Compassion Fatigue: Caring for the Caregiver at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Church, 340 N. Main St., with Dr. Victoria Kress for caregivers feeling the stress and fatigue that comes from taking care of others.

Oct. 8 Understanding the Top 3 Mental Health Issues Impacting Hudson at 7 p.m. at The Hudson United Methodist Church, 2600 Hudson Aurora Road, with Dr. Jake Protivnak.

Oct. 8 Engaging withNature to Alleviate Anxious & Depressive Symptoms at 7 p.m. at Ohio Organics & Nature, 220 N. Main St., with Licensed Professional Counselors Chase Swaney and Fawn Gordon to learn various techniques for relieving the symptoms of depression and anxiety by engaging with the environment.

Oct. 9 Helpful Techniques to Reduce Anxiety at noon at the Hope Community Church, 3033 Middleton Road, with Dr. Kevin Feisthamel to help community members reduce anxiety through a variety of helpful techniques.

Oct. 9 Navigating Parenting for Children & adolescents w/Special Needs at 7 p.m. at East Woods Elementary School, 120 N. Hayden Parkway, with Rebecca Szanto for parents and caregivers of special needs children and  adolescents.

Oct. 9 Focus on Athletes: Wellness at 7 p.m. at Hudson High School Media Center, 2500 Hudson Aurora Road, with Staci Tessmer about the importance of mental health as it relates to student athletes.

Oct. 9 Good Grief: Am I Losing My Mind? at 7 p.m. at The BRAIN Center, 72 Village Way, with Dr. Claudia Sadler-Gerhardt to focus on grief, and how to navigate the stress that commonly comes with experiencing a loss of any kind.

Oct. 10 Connecting in Marriage and Family at noon at Christ Church Episcopal, 21 Aurora St., with Christie Orosz. 

Oct. 10 Dating Violence: In The Know at 7 p.m. at Hudson Town Hall, 27 E. Main St., with Dana Zedak to focus on the dynamics of dating violence and the laws in place to protect victims.

Oct. 10 What Everyone Should Know About Addiction at 7 p.m. at Callahan's Carpet One, 5847 Darrow Road, with Larry Heller on topic of addiction and to learn how to effectively support those who may be suffering from an addiction, spot the signs of addiction, and help those in need of recovery resources.

Oct. 10 Understanding Adolescent Anxiety at 7 p.m. Hudson High School Auditorium for special screening of the documentary "Angst," sponsored by Hudson Community First. 

Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or