Healing Justice: The Role of Joy, Play, and Rest - 4th MH Symposium

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Healing Justice: The Role of Joy, Play, and Rest - 4th MH Symposium

How to integrate play, song, dance, laughter, movement, rest, and creativity to aid in trauma resolution and collective healing.

By YWCA Greater Austin

When and where

Date and time

Thursday, April 13 · 8:30am - 6pm CDT


St Andrew's Presbyterian Church 14311 Wells Port Drive Austin, TX 78728

Refund Policy

No Refunds

About this event

  • 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

YWCA Greater Austin’s 4th Annual Mental Health Symposium invites clinicians, social workers, therapists, students, educators, social justice warriors and community members to join us in learning about the healing principles of Joy, Play, and Rest.

This year’s Mental Health Symposium will be hosted in a hybrid format with the in-person portion at St. Andrew’s Church (14311 Wells Port Drive, Austin, Texas 78728). Learn more about the social justice work of the St. Andrew’s community here.

During the day’s events, YWCA Greater Austin staff will show participants how to integrate play, song, dance, laughter, movement, rest, and creativity to aid in the serious task of trauma resolution and collective healing. Together we’ll recognize joy, play, and rest as a vital element of life that counters oppression and brings power into our lives.

“The opposite of play is not work, it is depression.”

-Dr. Stuart Brown, founder and president of the National Institute for Play

One of the tragic consequences of trauma is a thwarting of our ability to engage in joy, play, and rest. It is especially detrimental because it is precisely through playfulness and connection that we bring healing to our deepest wounds.

Throughout the symposium, attendees will be invited to participate in movement and activities that promote, joy, laughter, rest, play, healing, and personal growth. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and being in a comfortable space, with objects like a journal, fidget, etc. handy nearby. For those attending in-person, some equipment for activities will be provided.

CEUs provided. Including ethics hours

Discounts for non-profit groups and scholarships available!

Non-profit group discount rates: non-profit organizations seeking to register 3+ representatives can receive a discount rate. Email haleigh@ywcaaustin.org for the discount code!

Scholarships available for those who need them. To apply for scholarship, please complete the form here: https://forms.gle/3HRFtjrtoqqpUBpL6.

Sponsor a scholarship: Help someone else access this wonderful event by purchasing a tax-deductible scholarship sponsorship ticket at checkout.

Join YWCA Greater Austin on Thursday, April 13th 9:00am - 5:00pm.

8:30am - 9:00am Morning Reception (in-person)

9:00am - 9:45am Welcome Session (all attendees)

10:00am - 11:00am Trauma-Informed Living (all attendees)

11:00am - 12:00pm LMFAO: Laughing Means Feeling Authentic and cOnnected (all attendees)

12:00pm - 12:45pm Lunch

12:45pm - 1:15pm Movement/play activity (in-person)

1:15pm - 2:45pm Playful Movements for Healing & Curiosity (all attendees)

3:00pm - 4:00pm We Laugh to Survive (all attendees)

4:00pm - 5:00pm Keynote and Closing Statements (all attendees)

5:00pm - 6:00pm Guided Nature Walk with YWCA Staff (in-person: stay afterwards for an optional nature walk!)

*Session schedule subject to change but overall timeframe will remain the same


8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Morning Reception (in-person)

YWCA Greater Austin Staff

Check-in and get comfy

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Welcome Session (all attendees)

Laura Gomez-Horton

Orientations to the day and opening remarks/activities

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Trauma-Informed Living (all attendees)

Bri Liu

Laura Gomez-Horton

As professionals we may be well versed in practicing Trauma-informed care and talking with people about self-care and self-regulation, but how often do we apply these concepts to our own lives? How o...

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

LMFAO: Laughing Means Feeling Authentic and cOnnected (all attendees)

Bri Hamlyn

We will explore How Meme and Tik Tok Culture Have Helped Us Connect and Heal. Memes have been a component of our culture in various forms since the mid 90s including moving images, still graphics, an...

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM


Bring your lunch/take a lunch break. Enjoy conversations with other attendees in-person or have some time for yourself.

12:45 PM - 1:15 PM

Movement/play activity (in-person)

Finale details TBD, but we will have some movement or play activity for in-person attendees. If possible, virtually attendees will also be invited to participate.

1:15 PM - 2:45 PM

Playful Movements for Healing & Curiosity (all attendees)

Bri Liu

Throughout the lifespan, we learn about ourselves, others, and the world through movement. Our movement patterns and posture are integral parts of the complex mind-body connection loop. Often unconsc...

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

We Laugh to Survive (all attendees)

Eva Escobedo

Laughter is the signal we have used for millennia to show others that a flight or fight response is not required and that the perceived threat is not present. In psychotherapy, laughter can be the si...

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Keynote and Closing Statements (all attendees)

Finalized description TBD. Hear how our keynote(s) integrate joy, play, and rest in their personal and professional live(s) to build connection, alleviate stress, re-energize, laugh, and generally fe...

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Guided Nature Walk with YWCA Staff (in-person)

In-person attendees are invited to stay after the symposium and walk the nearby trials with YWCA staff for a guided nature walk. The walk will be about an hour long, though it may end a little before...

About the organizer

Organized by
YWCA Greater Austin

Mission Statement | YWCA Greater Austin is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

$30 – $100