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Mon, 04 Mar 2024 02:22:08 -0600
2019-03-06 Print

Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor to Discuss the Emotional Toll of Trauma at SXSW in Austin

Manya Chylinski will discuss the real, and very normal, psychological effects of mass violence at SXSW on Friday


Boston, MA -- Manya Chylinski, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, announced today that she has been selected to speak about The Emotional Toll of Mass Violence at SXSW, the preeminent event on what’s next in the worlds of film, culture, music, and technology. She will present with UCSF trauma surgeon Dr. Amanda Sammann in the Health and MedTech Track, on Friday, March 8 at 11 a.m. at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas. The two will discuss the emotional toll mass trauma takes on individuals – from witnesses, to first responders and healthcare providers, to the entire community.

Mass violence of all kinds, such as mass shootings and acts of terrorism, results in an alarming amount of physical, emotional, and psychological trauma within our communities. Dr. Sammann and Chylinski will tell their own stories and those of other victims, share resources, and discuss concrete actions individuals and communities can do to address this critical public health crisis.

The psychological and emotional impacts of violence affect thousands of survivors including victims, their families and friends, first responders, and medical professionals. Most of these affected will not have physical scars. Inadequate mental health resources and stigma surrounding mental health and post- traumatic stress reactions means many people who need help will not get it. The goal of this presentation is to help those who haven’t directly experienced violence understand how it can affect those around them who have, and to be a resource to help them get the support they need to build resiliency and heal.

“My goal is to help people understand it’s normal to experience distress after a violent event,” says Chylinski. “The emotional toll of violence is real. Yet, many people struggle and think they’re the only one dealing with psychological wounds, especially witnesses without physical injuries. When we talk openly about the emotional and psychological side of trauma, more people will understand they’re not alone. Many will be able to manage the stress and heal because of that; and those who need more help will know it’s ok to get it.”

About Manya Chylinski

Manya Chylinski is a communications professional and survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing. Manya’s life was violently altered, along with hundreds of others, while she was a spectator at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. However, her injuries could not be treated by first responders. As she returned to her daily life, she struggled with fear and anxiety, and found herself without an appetite and unable to concentrate on work. She experienced visions of explosive events while doing things like attending the theater and waiting for the subway. It took recognizing that she was not merely a witness but also a victim to get help. As a speaker and a writer, Manya’s mission is to spread the word about how some survivors of mass violence appear unharmed but actually experience very real mental health injuries. She is passionate about helping audiences understand trauma, find their strengths, build resiliency, and navigate through change.

About SXSW
Each year, the SXSW Conference brings the best speakers in the world to Austin, Texas. The conference
provides an opportunity for global professionals at every level to participate, network, and advance their careers. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, the 10-day event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW 2019 will take place March 8-17, 2019. To register for the event, visit

Contact Info
Lisa Henry Consulting
Austin, TX
[email protected]]]

Phone: 4156093862