Princeton Public Library to launch book discussions for mayor’s mental health and wellness campaign next month

Photo: Mayor Mark Freda will join the discussions of books that focus on mental wellness as part of this fall’s Mayor’s Wellness Campaign events at Princeton Public Library. Photo courtesy of the library.

The Princeton Public Library is launching a series of events and activities to support Princeton Mayor Mark Freda’s wellness campaign, which focuses on mental health for all ages.

A discussion of the book “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by psychotherapist Lori Gottleib will kick off the library series at 11 a.m. on Sept. 21 on Hinds Plaza. weather permitting, or in the library’s community room if it rains that morning. A virtual discussion of the book will take place at 7 p.m. via Google Meet. Participants for the virtual evening event must pre-register on the library’s website.

Freda will join the discussions, which will be led by a library staff member and a local community leader who is a professional in the field of mental health. The Sept. 21 discussion will be led by Janie Hermann, the library’s adult programming manager, and Dave Errickson, executive director of Corner House Behavioral Health.

“This series builds on the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign initiative our Health Department staff started last year to combat social isolation in Princeton,” said Freda. “With the help from the library and other local partners this fall, we will continue to engage residents through discussions of books that focus on mental health and shared human experiences,” Freda said in a statement about the book series. “I encourage everyone to read along with us and join in the discussions.”

The second book discussion will take place Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. when “Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World,” by Vivek Murthy will be discussed both in person and virtually. Whitney Ross, executive director of Trinity Counseling, will join a library staff member in leading the discussion.

Book discussions will be held every other month into 2023, and related activities will take place during months when discussions are not held.

Related activities include a kick-off story time event, “Mindful Moments Storytime,” on Saturday, Sept. 10, at Community Park North/Pettoranello Gardens. Intended for children ages 3-8 and their families, books, songs, rhymes, and activities focusing on various aspects of mindfulness and nature will be featured.

A workshop where teens and adults can make a diffuser lava bead bracelet will take place Saturday, Oct. 22, at 1:30 p.m. in the library’s community room. Space is limited and registration is required.

The Virtual Storyroom on the Princeton Public Library YouTube channel will feature special edition storytime shorts focusing on mental wellness and emotional literacy for young children and their families beginning Sept. 15 when “Hurry Up! A Book About Slowing Down” by Kate Dopirak will be featured. Additional releases include “When Sadness is at Your Door” by Eva Eland on Oct. 13 and “Allie All Along,” on Nov. 10

The Mayors Wellness Campaign is a program of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.