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After reporting the suicide of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain at about 7:30 a.m., June 8, WECK-AM/FM news director Steve Cichon grabbed his cellphone and typed a story that he had been thinking about for more 30 years. Cichon, 40, spent close to two and a half hours composing a 2,500-word essay posted to his blog, BuffaloStories.com, with the title of "A brief memoir i…

Health and Fitness

Dr. Ann Marie Sullivan, commissioner of the state Office of Mental Health, formally opened the new $1.5 million Zoar Valley Clinic on Wednesday in Gowanda. The 9,500-square-foot mental health clinic, at , 49 S. Water St., replaces a temporary nearby clinic that was half its size. “The new, updated Zoar Valley Clinic is a spacious, modern facility in a more convenient…

Health and Fitness

Exercise on New Era Field, take a yoga class at the Botanical Gardens or hear a world-renown meditation expert in the region this week. These are among WNY Refresh Top 10 Picks of the Week when it comes to health, fitness, nutrition and family events in Western New York. MONDAY Slow Roll Buffalo: Riders can start to gather at 5:30 p.m. for a 10-mile guided excursion …

Health and Fitness

Slow Rolls on the waterfront and Tonawanda, a Superhero run and walk in Delaware Park, and a 5K in Alden are among WNY Refresh Top 10 Picks of the Week when it comes to health, fitness, nutrition and family events in the region. MONDAY Memorial Day on the waterfront: The Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park will be the place to be today. The park is op…

Health and Fitness

History – and a really good recipe for fudge – convinced Tara Porter to accept a job at Compeer Niagara two years ago, after she landed a bachelor's degree in leadership development from Houghton College. Her previous work, at People Inc. group homes and a day program for the intellectually disabled, underlined her desire to work where those with limitations were encour…

Education

A University at Buffalo student who completed suicide as he and his family struggled to get adequate help for his schizophrenia inspired the region’s first Mental Health Awareness Informational Fair and Flash Mob. "He ended up in a group home the night before he died, had some issues and asked to stay, but the staff told him he had to go. Within five minutes, he jumped …

Health and Fitness

A new Independent Health and Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge starts this week, with a $5,000 grand prize. You also have the chance to run in your underwear this week and safely get rid of unused and unwanted prescription drugs. These are among WNY Refresh Top 10 Picks of the Week when it comes to health, fitness, nutrition and family events in the region. …

Health and Fitness

Becky Davis used to help patients leave the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and regain their footing in the region. She fondly remembers helping one longtime resident – with a pair of master's degrees – plug into social services, find a new place to live and buy furniture. But what struck Davis the most was how that former patient locked on to a whole foods diet, joined a gym a…

Health and Fitness

Life has changed in the five years since Darcy Thiel wrote "Bitter and Sweet: A Family’s Journey with Cancer." Her husband, Tim Colvin, has been gone for more than seven years now, after his death from late-stage gallbladder cancer at age 48. Their son, David, is 15, and has discovered his father's passion for hockey. And Thiel is walking her father through the la…

Erie County

With the issue of mental health awareness ad treatment regularly taking over the news cycle, the Tonawanda City School District is hosting a Community Awareness Forum this week to focus on the subject. The featured speaker will be retired NFL linebacker Keith O'Neil, who earned a Super Bowl ring with the Colts when they beat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI but also …

Latest Sabres

An 82-game schedule in the National Hockey League can wreak havoc on a player's body. Even the lucky ones who don't miss time with an injury are battling some physical ailments – bumps, bruises, exhausted muscles that need time to recover. But the season also takes a toll mentally. It's a grind, even if you're on a winning team. And just like learning how to take care o…

Health and Fitness

New York State has become the first in the nation to offer a Mental Health Public Awareness license plate. The plate - which features a green ribbon and includes the words, “Healthy Minds, Healthy New York” – can be ordered online on the “Custom Plates” tab at dmv.ny.gov. State Sen. Robert Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, chair of the Senate Mental Hygiene Committee, sponsor…

Health and Fitness

Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo has a message for those who are struggling with mental illness or thoughts of suicide. Tell someone. The Sabres assistant captain has added his voice to the JustTellOne.org project, started 16 months ago by mental health and substance abuse prevention leaders across Western New York to let those struggling with mental illness know t…

Health and Fitness

Karl Shallowhorn has flourished during the last three decades. Great marriage. Successful professional career. Wide circle of friends. It's been a far cry from the years that followed his first psychotic episode in February 1981. Shallowhorn was 18, struggling through his second semester at General Motors Institute, and seeking solace in alcohol and other drugs. …