Suicide is the leading cause of death among Oregonian youth aged 10-24 years, according to the Oregon Health Authority and ranks top 10 in the U.S. Without a doubt, it’s a major public health concern. Aiming to provide comfort and support to anyone with suicidal thoughts as they struggle with mental health challenges, a new suicide prevention song “Don’t Give Up” has been released recently by Dr. Diane Kaufman, a child psychiatrist and founder of Oregon-based Arts Medicine for Hope and Healing.
Transforming Trauma Into Creative Resilience
Dr. Kaufman experienced trauma at an early age and suffered from anxiety and depression. As an adult she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. While studying at the Downstate Medical Center, Dr. Kaufman even attempted suicide for which she needed to be hospitalized. Since then, in times of adversity, imagination and artistic expression have been her main sources of relief and comfort. Her passion for transforming trauma into resilience led to her writing “Bird That Wants to Fly” in 2014, a children’s book that inspired an opera and for which she partnered with Trilogy: An Opera Company and Academy Award nominee Danny Glover as narrator. Dr. Kaufman also authored “15 Poems to Healing and Recovery,” the picture book “Missing Mommy” prompted by her encounter with a young child whose mother was murdered and “Three Objects Spoke To Me” on being lost and found on life’s journey.
“When I was a young child, I wrote that I wanted to become a ‘medical draw-er,’” Dr. Kaufman said. “Was my imagination already busy creatively envisioning and embodying my future self? I believe yes, as I became a poet, artist and child psychiatrist whose passion is nurturing creativity, healing and resilience.”
You Are Not Alone
“Don’t Give Up” is the most recent accomplishment by Dr. Kaufman, who is currently also founder and director of the Arts & Healing Resiliency Center at Mind Matters P.C. in Oregon. The lyrics of the song are based on a poem she wrote with the intention to encourage mental illness sufferers to never give up, to know they are not alone and that help is available. The song was a collaborative effort with singer/songwriter Mia Stegner and producer Raymiah Jackson.
“‘Don’t Give Up’ is hope in the notes and compassion rising from its very core,” Dr. Kaufman added. “Hope is real and change is possible, but in the dark despair of depression, it is so very hard to remember this truth. I know this song can help save lives. Please take a listen. This song is my gift to you.”
The song can be downloaded for free via this site: https://soundcloud.com/user-121443076/dont-give-up-featuring-mia-stegner
Dr. Kaufman welcomes opportunities for “Don’t Give Up” to reach as many people as possible and is available for interviews, speaking engagements and other partnerships.
About Dr. Diane Kaufman
Dr. Diane Kaufman, who has a Doctor of Medicine degree, is a poet, artist and child psychiatrist in Hillsboro, Oregon. Dr. Kaufman is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke College and received her medical degree from State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University and has been in practice for 35 years. In 2019, she founded Arts Medicine for Hope and Healing, focused on helping patients experience emotional well-being though creative self-expression and evidenced based mental health principles.
Her passion is to transform trauma into life-affirming creativity. With extensive experience in the therapeutic use of poetry, art and story, Dr. Kaufman was guiding leader of Creative Arts Healthcare at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s University Hospital in Newark. Her creative work includes poetry, poem posters, children’s stories, essays, songs and animated videos. Among them is her acclaimed children’s book, “Bird That Wants to Fly” that inspired a children’s opera and is narrated by Danny Glover.
Dr. Kaufman has received recognition by the New Jersey Healthcare Foundation and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for her practice of “humanism in medicine.” She has presented internationally on arts and healing and was the keynote speaker at the April 2016 National Association for Poetry Therapy Conference.
Dr. Kaufman is on the Board of Directors for ASHA International whose mission is to instill hope in those with mental health challenges through the power of sharing personal stories.
In 2019, galvanized by the suicide of a friend and colleague, Dr. Kaufman initiated “Creative Life Lines” which reaches out with compassion and creativity to help save lives. This service continues to grow and inspired the creation of the Arts & Healing Resiliency Center at Mind Matters P.C.
Most recently, in collaboration with ASHA International, she received the 2021 Oregon Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry grant for the “If My Words Could Make a Difference — Youth Mental Health Campaign.”
For more information, please visit: https://www.artsmedicineforhopeandhealing.com/