Mental Health
Community Panel: Time To ReCONNECT

Community Panel: Time To ReCONNECT

This virtual panel discussion will highlight local experts on the topic of reCONNECTing after the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 have extended far beyond the virus itself, affecting our connection with our bodies, minds and the earth. Join Kwinten Kemp, Jana Quilter, Sam Mekrut, Anayansy Pentoja, and Lauren Ziaks as they discuss how to reCONNECT with ourselves and each other, and discuss practical tools and suggestions for easing the anxiety of reconnecting to the world and to well-being.

The Take-Aways!

According to our panel of experts, how do we cope with nervousness and anxiety as we begin to socialize again?

  • Breathe! Learn about breathing techniques such as Calming Breath, Focus Breath, Desperate Breath, and Energizing Breath to help quiet the mind and overcome anxiety.
  • Replace negative self-talk with “we’re all in this together,” and “it’s normal to feel a little anxious right now.” 
  • Get outside to gain perspective and find a sense of calm.
  • Define your boundaries and work to understand what other people’s boundaries are.
  • Start small with socializing opportunities you’re most comfortable with first, and then work up to your bigger goals. 
  • Begin within your inner social circle.

While many of us had the privilege to work from home, essential workers have had a much different experience during the pandemic. Take time to complement and acknowledge their work. 

We are creatures of habit, and for the past year we have created habits around social distancing, wearing masks, and utilizing online video conferencing.  Now, as we begin to re-enter society, we must re-create new habits to socialize and engage with one another in-person. It might feel awkward at first, and maybe a little scary like a rocket taking off into outer space. It’s shaky and uncertain. Once we find our orbit though, we’ll be ok. Watch the full video to learn all the techniques YOU can use to find that sense of normalcy.


About Our Panelists:

Kwinten Kemp has a master’s degree in Mental Health, and is a certified life coach. He focuses his practice on the foundation of positive psychology, CBT, and existential psychology. He is a ranking member of an international system called Tora Jutsu. He runs a school in the Heber Valley. His better half and inspiration is Gina Kemp, who helps run their wellness company called The Greater You, Inc. 

Jana Quilter is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She runs a private practice called Acceptance Counseling and collaborates with The Greater You. Jana 
works with most client issues but her specialties include: couples issues, anxiety, addiction, coaching, and weight management. She is also an instructor and teaches a variety of classes including: Domestic Violence, Anger Management, Drug and Alcohol, Thinking Errors, and Parenting.

Sam Mekrut has served on the board of Mountain Mediation Center since 2015. During the day she works as a Child Welfare Mediator for the State of Utah, helping families work through cases of child abuse and neglect. Having spent well over a thousand hours mediating these and other types of cases, Sam qualifies as a Master Mediator. Prior to her career in mediation, Sam worked for many years in nonprofits fighting for social justice.

Anayansy Pentoja, or “Ana,” is currently an intern with Mountain Mediation Center, where she has been instrumental in reaching out to community members struggling with stable, affordable housing. She is a senior at Park City High School where she is involved in the Dream Big and Bright Futures programs. She aspires to be in the criminal justice or psychology field and is planning to attend the University of Utah this fall.

Lauren Ziaks is a physical therapist who specializes in concussion for Park City Hospital and a board member for CONNECT. She is actively involved with research and teaching to promote growth in the field of concussion. Her focus is helping to end the stigma for both head injuries and mental health challenges. 



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