In October, our host Libby Ballengee had the honor of participating in the inaugural Dayton Peace Festival at the Dayton International Peace Museum. The festival was the brainchild of Chris Borland, Dayton native and former NFL linebacker as his response to the mass shooting here.

One of the elements of the festival was a set of forums on gun violence, mental health and racism. Libby was the moderator of the mental health forum, so she was able to monitor sound levels while she recorded the forum to release as this podcast. She attempted to record the other two, but unfortunately those had audio issues. Super disappointing, but we are looking forward to having future conversations with those panelists.

This summer has created collective trauma and grief – and many of us are still in denial or self medicating, but we are reminding all of you that seeking help is not a sign of weakness. Taking care of ourselves is what makes us Dayton Strong.

To work through these mental health topics, we have 3 distinguished panelists to discuss mental health:

Whitney Saleski – Whitney is a social worker in Dayton as well as an absolutely incredible freelance photojournalist. Her images are on display upstairs at the Peace Museum. Those images are a retrospective of this summer in Dayton. 5 years ago Whitney lost her father Stanley Saleski to suicide. That prompted her to take up photography again and start a suicide awareness project called the Stanley Sessions. You can also find her work online at and

Dr. Brian Ceccarelli- Brian is a retired orthopedic surgeon who practiced for 30 years. He has founded. – an organization that wants to change the way people treat each other. He’s been hosting school presentations on acceptance, respect, and the reality of bullying, mental health and teen suicide.

Dr. Ken Yeager- Ken is a full professor at The Ohio State University, College of Medicine, Dept of Psychiatry – and is an expert in Mental Health and evidenced-based addiction treatment. Ken is also the Director of the STAR program. Which stands for Stress- Trauma and Resilience.

To find out more about the Dayton Peace Museum:

Harold Hensley – Songs of Home