Step Into the Light: A Mental Health Summit

Linda Larsen

SARASOTA, FL – The community is invited to attend Step Into the Light: A Mental Health Summit, a free event presented by Sunshine From Darkness that will be held Saturday, October 28 from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Robarts Arena (3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota). The event will feature keynote speaker Linda Larsen and numerous other mental health experts, interactive experiences, and valuable resources to promote mental health wellness.
“We are so thrilled to bring together these crucial resources for our mental health community,” said Sunshine from Darkness Executive Director Marlene Hauck. “Our hope is that the Summit will empower attendees to learn new coping skills, promote mental health wellness in their unique environments, and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.”
Step Into the Light is an opportunity for clients, clinicians, parents, advocates, and anyone interested in mental health wellness to come together and access valuable resources and support. By sharing knowledge and experiences, attendees can help to build a stronger and more supportive mental health community.
Keynote speaker Linda Larsen will speak on “Breaking the Silence: One Woman’s Ongoing Journey to Mental Wellbeing.” Larsen strongly believes in the power of engaging in critical conversations about mental wellbeing. Much of her life was shrouded in fears that drove her to the brink of suicide several times, up to and including the day she was taken hostage by an escaped convict and held at gunpoint for six hours – a truly life-changing experience that dramatically shifted her perspective about life and death.
Other speakers – hailing from organizations including the Yale School of Medicine, Resilient Retreat, Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital, Florida Department of Health/Sarasota County, NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Sarasota County Health and Human Services, and more – will cover a diverse range of mental health approaches and topics, including anxiety, depression, children’s mental health, generational trauma, guidance on navigating the system, and more.
Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with community resources as well as take part in a wide range of interactive experiences, including yoga, art and music therapy, virtual reality and more.
Summit Ray of Light sponsors are: Equilibrium, Gould Family Foundation of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Herrera Psychology Telement, and Sage Therapeutics/Biogen.
The summit will serve as a prelude to this year’s Sunshine From Darkness Inspiring Hope Dinner, which will be held on Friday, January 12, 2024 at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. This year’s dinner will feature a keynote by actor Tom Arnold, who will talk about his long journey dealing with addition.
For more information visit

PHOTO ID: 2023 Step Into the Light: A Mental Health Summit keynote speaker Linda Larsen
Provided photo

Sunshine From Darkness is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for local charities that provide health and addiction disorder services in the Sarasota community and funding cutting-edge mental health research. Founded as a subsidiary of the Lee and Bob Peterson Foundation, Sunshine From Darkness hosts events throughout the year that bring mental health and addiction awareness and education to the forefront of the community, providing professionals and philanthropists with the opportunity to engage with the broader mental health community. Its mission is to raise awareness of mental health and addiction disorders and erase the stigma of both. Visit

Originally posted 2023-10-03 16:25:58.