JOSHUA Tree invites community to join discussion on depression

Holly Viers • Jan 2, 2019 at 6:00 PM

JOHNSON CITY — While many consider the holiday season a joyous time, others struggle with depression or grief due to the loss of a loved one.

Cyndi Ramsey is all too familiar with these feelings, as she lost her son to a drug overdose three years ago. That’s why she started the JOSHUA Tree, a grief support group for those who have lost someone to addiction.

Though the group meets every month, January’s meeting will be a bit different in that it will feature a guest speaker who will specifically discuss depression and ways to cope with it.

“We welcome anybody,” Ramsey said. “It’s not just for (those coping with) overdose deaths, because we understand that a lot of people are killed or die a different way from substance abuse. … We try to encompass and embrace and welcome everybody.”

When and where

The meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 5:45 p.m. at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, located at 212 Sunset Drive in Johnson City.

The guest speaker

Myra Qualls Elder, a clinical psychologist, will give a presentation and lead the group in a discussion about depression.

“This is something new,” Ramsey said. “We normally just have a topic of discussion and we’ll have a devotional about that topic, and then we’ll have some questions and a roundtable discussion.”

About the group

Ramsey started the JOSHUA Tree in 2017, though the idea to start the group first came to her a few months after her son, Josh, died in January 2016. “JOSHUA” is both a reference to her son’s name and an acronym for “Jesus Our Savior Heals Us Again,” Ramsey said.

The group meets at 5:45 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month. The meetings are held at Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Johnson City but are open to anyone in the Tri-Cities region.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/groups/joshtree.