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Wellness program to help mend 'soul injuries' after trauma strikes

We can come to a greater feeling of peace in our lives by addressing the acute and chronic traumas that we have buried deep within us and try to keep at bay.

This is the big message in a free, two-hour educational program on “soul injuries” that will take place on Thursday in Hamburg.

The seminar is inspired by six former hospice nurses from Boston, Mass., who collectively worked with 10,000 veterans during their careers.

The nurses created Opus Peace (, to “provide programs that respond to soul injuries generated by unmourned grief and unforgiven guilt that occur during trauma, abuse and self-neglect.”

“The veterans taught us but the lessons apply to everbody,” said Nancy Weil, former director of grief support with the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

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Weil will be among the panelists on Thursday who will give a short presentation and answer questions after the showing of “Soul Injury: Liberating Unmourned Loss and Unforgiven Guilt.”

The program starts at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home, 4199 Lakeshore Road. For more information or to RSVP, call 627-2919.

Continuing education credits are available for nurses, social workers, counselors, clergy and others at no charge – but anyone concerned about how traumatic events shape their lives and decision-making are encouraged to attend, Weil said.

“We believe many people can potentially benefit from understanding how to recognize a soul injury in themselves and those they serve,” said Charles Castiglia, Lakeside Memorial owner, president of the Order of the Golden Rule – an international organization of independent funeral home directors – and a member of the Erie County Opiate Epidemic Task force.

Other panelists will include Alicia Sholtz, case manager with the Western New York Homeless Veterans Program who served in the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2003 and 2005, and Alicia Moonan, a licensed mental health counselor who specializes in trauma-related care.


Twitter: @BNrefresh, @ScottBScanlon

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