Gathering the Tahoe-Truckee tribe for healing, compassion |

Gathering the Tahoe-Truckee tribe for healing, compassion

Carol Lynn Healy
Special to the Sun
Glide into a gathering with Truckee Community Healing Group and Washoe Tribe Member Mountain Eagle.
Courtesy | iStockphoto

If you need help

According to local mental health experts, if you or someone you know are thinking of committing suicide or hurting someone, please take the following steps:

First, make sure the person knows he or she can reach out and talk about their problems with someone he or she can trust. As you do so, try to find out the level of intention from the person. When people experience these types of thoughts, they can often feel helpless and need empathy, support or just help to connect them with someone they can trust.

If you think the person might be very serious, it is better to be safe than sorry.

If you’re a family member or worried about a family friend, it is OK to call 911 or the authorities.

If you want to keep the matter private, here are four hotlines:

Nevada County Crisis line: 530-265-5811

Placer County Crisis line: 916-787-8860

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK / 800-273-8255

EDITOR’S NOTE: National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 8-14. If you are struggling with depression or grief, consider joining the Truckee Community Healing Group meetings and/or the Sept. 24 healing event with Mountain Eagle.

Two Truckee moms, who lost their sons to suicide, were coping with grief and loss alone — until they found support.

Susan Simonpietri and Diana Bell-Curtis found sharing and talking with others, who were also suffering from losing a loved one, made all the difference.

“In every community there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart there is the power to do it. Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”
Marianne Williamson

Amy Ward, a previous Truckee Tahoe Suicide Prevention Task Force member, was hired to do research on why so many suicides were taking place.

Amy contacted Susie, and that connection led Susie and Diana to spearhead a support group that has evolved into the Truckee Community Healing Group, which meets at For Goodness Sake in Truckee on fourth Wednesdays.


As a practicing energy medicine therapist and death and dying educator, I have found the more people come together to console, confide in and be supported, the more they find purpose and resolve to heal. Susie and Diana were a little more proactive then most.

When I first spoke with Diana, she reflected: “In the last 35 years, Truckee has seen a lot of change since the incorporation in 1996 — some good, some not so good. That’s when the developers came in and changed the whole dynamics of Truckee.

“Then suddenly, business owners could not afford to rent therefore closed their doors. The cost of living went up and buildings are empty, there was no longer a movie theater for our kids … people were leaving, and downtown turned into a more yuppy-like feeling replacing the older, more interesting shops that catered to the way Truckee use to be.”

Fast forward and sure enough, here we are in yet another new world.


Today’s world is rife with over stimulation: No shortage of social media, cell phones and 24/7 activities. A world where it’s all too easy, as Diana said, “to lose touch with our families, let alone be proactive in our children’s lives. So how do we build up and take back our community for the people who live here?”

To me, it seems safe to say in many towns there was a time not too long ago, just like Truckee, when it felt like a small community, because there was community.

A time when folks did communicate. They took the time to speak with their neighbors and build community.

“Too many kids are depressed and have serious depression problems that are misdiagnosed, overlooked or thought to be drug and alcohol related,” said Diana. “Many kids are feeling isolated or not part of something. And too many are still turning to drugs to feel good and for something to do.”


Over the past few years, numerous adult and teenage suicides (as well as other tragic teenage deaths) took place in Truckee. The loved ones left behind, like Diana and Susie, were left asking why.

“If you don’t understand something, how do you learn, how do you grow?” asked Diana.

Understanding means being willing to step aside and look at it. These two moms did just that.

The new Truckee Community Healing Group will evolve as community members come together to discover what is possible and answer: How do we heal?

Those interested in healing themselves come to realize healing is intertwined with the whole community. And so we begin to ask, what are our intentions? What issues are happening in the community that we need to educate ourselves about? Where do our kids go to have fun and socialize?

What have we co-created with them and for ourselves? What kind of examples are we providing for each other? How do we build community?


It is easy to lose sight of what’s important in this fast-paced world and harder to make time for ourselves and each other. But isn’t that all the more reason to dig deep to evaluate what our core values might be, what we care about and what we want to teach our children?

The Truckee Community Healing Group provides a place to share common concerns and emotional support. Their mission is to heal in a safe, non-judgmental environment and deal with issues ranging from grief, death and dying to healing in healthy ways while co-creating strong community bonds.

The group will explore wellness, spirituality, self-empowerment, consciousness, stress management, healing, meditation, positive thinking, metaphysics, stress relief, self-improvement, holistic health, mind body connection, co-creating community, energy medicine and more.

The healing group and healing events are open to the whole community, young and old alike.


The Community Healing Group invites all community members to gather Wednesday, Sept. 24, 6:30-8 p.m. to welcome Washoe Native Mountain Eagle, for an evening of song, stories and a healing ceremony at For Goodness Sake, 10157 Donner Pass Road, Truckee.

Mountain Eagle is one of only 10 full-blooded Washoe Tribe members alive today. He will bring an important message and native healing practices. The suggested donation for this event is $20.

There’s a saying: Energy goes where attention flows.

As Marianne Williamson says in her writing: “In every community there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart there is the power to do it. Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”

And so it is.

Carol Lynn Healy is a practicing energy medicine therapist, and a death and dying educator.

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