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Mental health workshop aims to deliver solutions

Therapist leads discussion on ways to cope with one of the most common mental illnesses.

By Kenya Harris, Staff Writer

Mental Health workshops are common at Valley College. In an event hosted by Student Health, Monarch's discussed self care, anxiety, burnout, and the stressors of work, school, and family obligations add to the pressures of being a student in 2023.

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist Lauren Rogers from Pure Hearts Therapy presented her audience with all kinds of ways to treat depression. Rogers discussed the issues of insurance, and how it doesn’t end up covering enough of the needed treatment for many people with depression.

“Depression is the world’s biggest club, but it makes you think that you are alone,” said Rogers, explaining to her audience that anyone dealing with depression was not alone.

One of the more common illnesses is depression. A 2023 Gallup poll revealed that 29 percent of U.S. adults have been diagnosed with depression– the highest percentage since 2015.

The overall mental health of Americans is declining. According to a 2023 report on the 2023 State of Mental Health in America report, 21 percent of US adults experience mental illness. That is approximately 50 million Americans. From 2019-2020, the same non profit Mental Health America identified 20.78% of adults with mental illness in America.

Rogers’ presentation focused on explaining multiple forms of treatment including different types of therapy, medication, self care, and seeking support from others. She impressed upon the audience that coping skills and self care are behaviors that must be repeated every day. During the presentation the audience was given time to share how many of them had been let down and received inadequate mental health care and treatment for themselves or a loved one’s mental illness.

Psychology major and student Manal El Hajoui was greatly pleased with the presentation. El Hajoui’s experience echoed the experience of many members of the audience. She said the presentation was a catalyst and it was very informative.

When Manal had gone to seek a therapist for herself, she had difficulty finding a therapist. On and off for six months, she was waitlisted and sent to contact providers that were all too busy to take on new clients, when she needed. Fortunately, she was able to learn some vital information about how to finally get a therapist.

During the presentation, someone brought up the app TimelyCare. TimelyCare is a telehealth app available to Valley students that provides multiple on demand sessions with a therapist, at no cost across the semester, while currently enrolled at Valley.

“We hope that with these events individuals will become aware of symptoms, ideology, and stigma that may be interfering with them seeking those services,” said Student Health Coordinator Evelyn Picardo.


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