Mental health epidemic or normal response to abnormal circumstances: Mental pain in context

Noël Hunter, Psy.D.

The news is awash with clickbait headlines warning of the mental health epidemic sweeping the world as a result of the pandemic. Rather than consider that people are stressed, though not everyone, and that many have experienced tragic loss of family, income, and homes, the news is instead focusing on “mental illness” and the more common disruption of daily life. We have a real opportunity at this time to recognize how trauma, stress, fear and worry, lack of routine, and isolation can impact our overall well-being. This workshop will explore the research overwhelmingly demonstrating the vast array of effects from chronic stress that people experience and how mental illness frameworks detract from truly understanding and empathizing.

  • Participants will learn at least 5 common effects of chronic stress and trauma
  • Participants will be able to explore for themselves what the pandemic has meant to them and engage in open dialogue
  • Participants will learn to differentiate trauma from daily stressors and the differing effects of both
  • Participants may be able to integrate this knowledge in an effort to find shared experiences among the greater population and build empathy for one another