Coming together to address the mental health pandemic

Wednesday, 26. May 2021 22:20

Chicago, May 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- COVID-19 has generated a mental health pandemic that is taking a heavy toll on frontline healthcare workers. The annual Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education’s (NRCI) June 13, Community Mental Health Conference, is focused this year on supporting those health professionals. Key topics for COVID-19: Stress and Grief during a Global Pandemic include wellness strategies to address the unprecedented rise in grief, uncertainty and anxiety.

The conference is an opportunity for mental health professionals, allied health care workers and community members to learn effective ways to cope with grief and manage stress. In addition, the panel will focus on effective ways to help diverse communities cope with stress and find a healthy path for post-COVID life.

This year’s conference will take place virtually in line with the prescribed safety guidelines.

The conference moderator is Michael M. Kocet, Ph.D., LMHC, NCC, ACS, who is Professor and Department Chair of the Counselor Education Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois.

This year’s conference is dedicated to Kate Mahoney, NRCI Executive Director (2017-2021) for her tireless efforts and commitment to the mental health field. Ms. Mahoney joined The Chicago School as the Executive Director of the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education at The Chicago School (NRCI) in 2017. She passed away last February.

“Kate was passionately dedicated to reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness and provide support for individuals and families impacted by mental illness and suicide,” said Chicago Campus Dean Margie Martyn, Ph.D.

“I will always remember Kate as the most positive person, who truly believed in The Chicago School’s mission of education, innovation, and service to our community” added Dr. Martyn.

Featured presenters for the virtual conference include:

  • Serena Wadhwa, Psy.D., LCPC, CADC, RYT, CCTP is a psychotherapist and professor at Governors State University. Through her many roles as a consultant, trainer, yoga practitioner, etc. Dr. Wadhwa has developed a holistic approach to therapy.
  • Jillian Blueford, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, CT is a faculty member at The University of Denver and is the Chair of Grief Competencies Task Force for the American Counseling Association. Her clinical professional background includes working in a variety of settings such as a hospice bereavement center, a psychiatric behavioral hospital, and as an independent counselor for the Tennessee Department of Children Services.
  • David Fireman, MSW, LCSW is the Executive Director of the Center for Grief Recovery and Therapeutic Services in Rogers Park, Illinois. He also holds a psychotherapy practice grounded in self and depth psychologies.
  • Michael Catania, Community Member was hospitalized due to COVID where he forged a special relationship with one of the ER physicians who helped save his life. He later collaborated with that doctor to spread the word about COVID through social media with the goal of helping others.

About NRCI

The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute is dedicated to eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness and to providing support to individuals and families impacted by mental health challenges by creating community. Housed at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, NRCI offers mental health education, trainings, and presentations to the greater Chicagoland community, and support organizations engaged in mental illness research, education, self-help, anti-discrimination and advocacy

Victor Abalos
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
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