Panelists to Discuss Mental, Physical Resilience during COVID-19 Pandemic
Anxiety, depression, substance abuse, gun violence and more. These are just a few of the many issues on the rise in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
In an effort to support the community and raise awareness about the benefits of public health care, St. Louis Community College will conduct a virtual panel discussion, “Mental and Physical Resilience in the Time of COVID.” The discussion is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 10, 6-8 p.m. and will focus on mental and physical resilience, and the role public health careers play.
During this event, public health officials and educators will discuss the importance of whole health and offer suggestions people can implement in their daily lives to overcome their mental and physical health challenges.
The conversation will also focus on two public health career pathways that are leading the way in improving integrated health care – Behavioral Health Support and Nursing.
According to Jenna Mueller, assistant professor and program coordinator for Behavioral Health Support at STLCC, COVID-19 is exasperating existing challenges and creating new ones.
“We know these are challenging times, and we want to do what we can help support our community,” Mueller said. “By bringing public health experts together for an open discussion, we hope to break down the stigma that is often associated with physical and mental health and provide ideas people can use to improve their lives.”
The discussion will also focus on another challenge – the ever-growing need for professionals to pursue careers in public health.
“The shift toward integrated health care has led to an abundance of jobs in recent years, many of which go unfilled,” Mueller said. “By highlighting the important work people do in the helping fields, we hope to inspire others to explore careers in public health.”
The event is sponsored by the Beta Rho Epsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at STLCC-Wildwood. Funding has been provided through a 2020 public health grant from the League for Innovation in the Community College.
Rachel Cohen is a public health coordinator at the St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH). In this role, she has managed projects addressing opioid use disorder for three years. She also contributes to policy analysis and has been involved in strategic planning for the COVID-19 pandemic response. Prior to her time at DPH, she worked in HIV prevention and health system strengthening in India, South Africa, Uganda and New York. She holds an MPH in health policy and management from Columbia.
Jenna Mueller, MA, LPC, NCC, serves as STLCC’s program coordinator for Behavioral Health Support, the region’s only associate degree program in this area.
Mueller also serves as the associate director of the Health Resources & Service Administration’s Opioid Workforce Expansion program grant at STLCC.
Mueller began her career as a licensed professional counselor whose work focused on helping and inspiring individuals to create breakthroughs in their personal lives and careers.
Dr. L.J. Punch (pronouns are they/them) is a critical care surgeon, an associate professor of surgery, and a scholar within the Institute for Public Health at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Punch is also an activist in the fight against gun violence and directs StopTheBleedSTL, located at "The T" anti-violence center in St. Louis. The center runs programs to educate the community on how to reduce the impact of trauma, injury and violence in St. Louis.
As a physician, educator and activist, Punch aims to propagate the idea of “radical generosity” as a means to better the community.
Deanna K.Martin, Ph.D., RN, is an assistant professor and program coordinator for nursing at STLCC-Wildwood. She previously has taught nursing courses for 15 years at a number of other institutions.
Martin also has more than 30 years of experience as a nurse.
Follow this link to learn more and participate in the virtual panel discussion.