WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee World and the NABUR team recently hosted a mental health panel as part of The World’s ongoing Virtual Forum Series. During a time of increased isolation, uncertainty and stress, the panel helped provide attendees with knowledge regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and how to cope during quarantine.

We asked community members to describe what mental health meant to them when they registered for the panel. Here are some of their responses:

“It is the underpinning of physical and emotional health.” — Stan B.

“Mental health means having a toolkit that helps me to live my best intellectual, social and spiritual life.” — Sharon H.

“Stability and safety of our community.” — Jerri B.

To facilitate nuanced discussions regarding the intersection of mental health with different communities, panelists spoke on five specific topics:

  • Dr. Julie Rickard, Suicide Prevention Coalition of North Central Washington, spoke on older adults and mental health
  • Dr. Joshua Ventura, Confluence Health therapist, spoke on Latino communities and mental health
  • Rebecca Gear, Central Valley Community Health therapist, spoke on children, remote learning and mental health
  • Kaitlin Quirk, president of NAMI Chelan Douglas, spoke on COVID-19 first responders and mental health
  • Shawn DeLancy of Catholic Charities spoke on homelessness and mental health.

We’ve made available a recorded video of the panel, a local resource guide and an example of distress tolerance practices readers can try at home.

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Madeline Happold, journalist product manager: madeline.happold@wickcommunications.com