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the video

 
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The Story

"My name is Joel Glenn Wixson.

I'm a musician,

a psychologist,  

a father,

a husband,

a friend

and a suicide survivor."

When Joel was 25, he experienced the lethal invitations of suicide. He survived because the distance between his plans to kill himself and his ability to act on those plans was wide enough for him to reconsider. This is the inspiration for the Mile Wide Project.  The mission is to create space between impulse and action. The belief is that impulses are rooted in ideas that we hold dear. There are ways to stand up for those ideas. By creating space through music and conversation we find ways to stand up for what we hold dear, and live a life that is a testament to our pain, not a tragic headline.

The Mile Wide Project is a one man show.

It takes you from pain and isolation to hope and possibilities.

See where it takes you.

praise for the mile wide project

“I LOVED your message about the pain being something not to just hang on through, but to embrace and learn from.” - Audience member.

“...and the lines from your song I Am That Man - about waiting for a sign, seeing it, but it doesn't look like he thinks it should, so he waits and it changes - well, that's just one of the lyrics that really resonated with me. There were so many!” - Audience member.

“Bravo. I will be watching the page for announcement of future shows as well.” - Audience member.

 

“Blew me away! Incredible work!” - Audience member.

 

“Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.. We have all traveled different paths to get to similar places.” - Audience member.

 

“Remarkably powerful program!” -Audience member.

 

“Last night was just great! Congratulations Joel...I know your dream will take flight and be such a wonderful gift to so many people. I am very proud of you and for you! Many Blessings to your Mile Wide Project...may it grow and find those who need it so desperately...may it also find those who don't even know they need it!” -Audience member.

 

“I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your show last night. Your dialog was perfect.. It was so intimate, spiritual, informational, uplifting and profound it was like seeing the truth of your soul. I don't know if I've ever witnessed anyone being so open and honest.  It was an incredible experience. As I told you last night, it was inspirational. Thank you.” - Audience member. 

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bio

 

Dr. Joel Glenn Wixson is a singer/songwriter and clinical psychologist. He has been a songwriter and musician since he was nine, and has worked in the field of human services for nearly thirty years. He has played at many venues across the region, and currently has a monthly gig at Caffe Kilim on Islington street in Portsmouth, NH. He is also proud to do an annual Christmas show at the Press Room in Portsmouth. He has produced multiple CDs and written three musicals. He earned his masters degree in counseling psychology, with a specialization in substance abuse counseling and his doctorate in clinical psychology at Antioch University, in Keene New Hampshire. Along with performing, he teaches at Lesley University in Cambridge MA, and is in private practice in Portsmouth NH.  He has published several papers in peer reviewed journals, and has a chapter in a text book. He was formerly the Director of Emergency Services for one of the largest substance abuse treatment organizations in Massachusetts, and was a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School. He also helped to establish the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, MA. One of his favorite things to do when he's not playing at Caffe Kilim, is perform in the street. His favorite spot is in front of the North Church downtown. For him, street performing is the most intimate and personal way to share the message of his music. He is currently working on several projects. One if which is the Mile Wide Project. This one man show combines his musical and therapeutic work with his personal experience of hearing and declining the invitations of suicide. For Joel the message of his music and the message of his clinical work is the same; There is always hope. His personal experience and the wisdom he has gained from the people he is privileged to meet with every day provide the inspiration for the Mile Wide project.

 

 
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the mile wide project

 

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News & Updates

 

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by Deb Cram

sept 2015

PORTSMOUTH — A woman stood at the top of the Piscataqua River Bridge in Portsmouth on Sept. 14 and was getting ready to jump. Fortunately, with the help of a family member and emergency responders, she did not become a suicide statistic that day.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. What does that mean? Wikipedia says, “Suicide prevention is an umbrella term for the collective efforts of local citizen organizations, mental health practitioners and related professionals to reduce the incidence of suicide."

Portsmouth’s Dr. Joel Glenn Wixson breaks it down in a different way, which he hopes people can relate to with their heads and their hearts.

Wixson, a doctor of psychology, is also a singer-songwriter working to raise awareness about suicide prevention through his education, experience and music. Wixson will perform at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth on Sept. 30, a premiere for "The Mile Wide Project." The event is billed as taking audiences "on a journey from pain and despair to hope and possibilities ... this innovative and improvisational performance is always unique." 

“The name of the Mile Wide Project comes from my own experience of having the distance between when I thought about killing myself and actually the ability to carry out the plan, being wide enough that I thought twice," Wixson said. "So the hope is that we’ll create that kind of distance for a lot of people so that even though those thoughts can be overwhelming and can start to creep into their lives that the distance between the thoughts getting to a crucial and destructive place where they actually enact the plan will be wide enough so they don’t."

Wixson said the show is meant to remind people of the positive parts of their lives. “It all ends up with the process of gratitude and understanding and unfolding possibilities for everybody in their lives to take them past hard stuff but also acknowledge the amazingness that we all carry.”

What would Wixson say to the woman who was planning to jump from the Interstate 95 bridge?

"I’d say, 'Why are you here?' You know what she would say? She’d say, 'Because my life sucks.' I’d say. ‘Why do you think your life sucks?' And she’d say, ‘Because I can’t do this and I can’t do that.' And all of those things she says are about stuff that matters to her. Which speaks to possibilities," Wixson said.

"How can she hang onto those possibilities, those things that she stands for in the face of (despair). Things got so bad that she’s standing there on the top of the bridge … because everybody always has those things. And it’s those things that we need to speak to. Unfortunately, when we get to a place where all we think about is the diagnosis and the bad stuff questions that speak into the territories of things that matter to us don’t get asked. That’s what we are talking about doing with this project. Speaking to those territories. Not only speaking to those territories, but also getting connected to the things that distract us from paying attention to those things. ... There’s always possibilities and there’s always hope.”

Wixson said his performance will not be a one-off.

"Hopefully this will go on and on and on and also spread out to other people. It’s not just going to be about me. It will be about other people doing their own mile-wide projects and doing their own stands and living their own dreams and their own lives. They’ll do the things that they stand for,” he said.

 
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This Light

by Joel Glenn Wixson

This is the first an a series of Mile Wide Project CD's. I hope it inspires, lifts you up, or moves you.