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Panel to discuss mental health in crisis of covid-19

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | February 28, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will host a virtual panel Tuesday to discuss the mental health effects of living for a year in the covid-19 pandemic and how to handle some of those effects.

The discussion begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public, although space is limited. Those interested can register at arkansasonline.com/copingcovid.

Nationwide, people have reported increased levels of stress, feelings of isolation and symptoms of mental illness related to the pandemic. The panel will answer some of the most common questions about these issues.

The panel will be in a Zoom webinar format and will feature four Arkansans who are experts in mental health.

They are:

• Dr. Sufna John, a psychologist specializing in childhood and family trauma and assistant professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Department of Psychology. She is also a director of the Arkansas Building Effective Services for Trauma (ARBEST), a program that focuses on improving outcomes for children and their families.

• Tyler West, the public relations and policy chairman for the Arkansas chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He is also a member of the foundation's National Public Policy Council.

• Dr. Tammy Alexander, a clinical psychologist and assistant director for behavioral health at the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services. She is also the director of the project Promoting Positive Emotions crisis counseling services grant. The program focuses on mental health care during covid-19.

• Dr. Buster Lackey, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Arkansas chapter and founding partner of The Center Health and Wellness in North Little Rock, which offers physical therapy and behavioral health treatments.

Questions can be submitted for the panelists at arkansasonline.com/copingcovid.

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