CONNECT Summit County has been deeply committed to reducing the stigma of mental health and providing community-wide programming for Mental Health Awareness Month since 2014. Though the delivery may have looked different in 2020 with virtual events due to COVID-19, the impact was profoundly felt. Our theme “Creating CONNECTions” focused on our relationships with ourselves through sleep and self-care, and we then explored how we can CONNECT with our family, loved ones and the community at large.

Be sure to reference our Mental Health Awareness Month Resources below and please, remember that if you need help but don’t know where to turn, our Peer Navigator can help you navigate our community’s mental health services. Text or call (435) 776-HELP (4357) or email [email protected] Our Guide to Mental Health Support and Resources During COVID-19 provides an expansive toolkit for finding mental health and financial assistance services in Summit County.

The Importance of Sleep

Are you struggling with your sleep habits? Summit County resident and sleep expert Dr. Wendy Troxel gave this fascinating virtual presentation about how to get the most of your time asleep, followed by a Q&A that did a deeper dive with audience members on improving their sleep habits. Called one of the five most influential people in sleep, Dr. Troxel is a prolific speaker and her TED talk, How to sleep like your relationship depends on it, has racked up thousands of views.

Virtual Community Panel

You won’t want to miss this Virtual Community Panel as our team of experts explored how to create meaningful CONNECTion with family members, loved ones, and our larger community. Former drug-addicted multi-millionaire turned family man and founder of BluNovus James Hadlock moderated this powerhouse panel with  James Ott, LCSW with Red Willow Counseling; Jenny Howe, Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Consultant specializing in fear, anxiety, OCD and exposure therapy; and Mary Wright, M.A., Certified Enneagram Teacher and Coach with the Christian Center of Park City.

Wellness Wheel: A Tool for Integrative Mental Health

Do complementary approaches to mental health really help? CONNECT Summit County Executive Director Deanna Rhodes and Mary Christa Smith, Executive Director of Communities That Care, explore the four sections of the wellness wheel (Physical, Mental/Emotional, Social and Spiritual) for the PC Marc’s May Lunchtime Learning. Click here for the PDF of the presentation or watch below. 

“Lost CONNECTion” Virtual Party

Right now, more than ever, it is OK to not be OK.  Be sure to check-out our Virtual Party where we fill up your toolbox with applicable activities that you can do to maintain good mental health and stay connected. Spoiler alert: In addition to our team sharing potentially life-saving resources, there is an epic dance party where a dancing banana makes an appearance!

Restorative Yoga and Meditation

What is self-care in action? It’s coming together, forming your own space and moving your body. Betty Morin, a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher, leads this Restorative Yoga and Meditation session that gets into your body, breaths out of your head and releases stress so you can be fully present in this moment.

Shift Change: Mental Health and Returning to Work

While our entire community has collectively lived through COVID-19, our individual experiences have been very different.  At the Park City Chamber/Bureau Virtual Lunch & Learn “Shift Change: Mental Health and Returning to Work,” our Executive Director Deanna Rhodes shares how to validate different perspectives, challenge your own assumptions, and practice empathy in the workplace. This presentation gave tools and exercises to take back to your teams to create a work environment that promotes good mental health.

Mental Health and Working from Home

What are some simple things you can do to implement and support your mental health as you telecommute? Don’t miss the presentation Mental Health and Working from Home with CONNECT Summit County board members Kathy Meyer MSW and Cindy Levine, as well as Amanda Cencak from Daya Counseling. In partnership with the Park City Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.  

Navigating Grief, Loss and Anxiety from COVID-19

With so much unknown in our world, Dr. Brad Reedy gives a powerful presentation about managing grief, loss, and anxiety during this unprecedented global pandemic. Dr. Reedy is a co-owner and the Clinical Director of Evoke Therapy Programs which outdoor-based therapy for adolescents, young adults and families. His powerful ability to use his own story and stories from the thousands of families he has treated offers hope to families suffering with mental health, addiction and stage-of-life issues. Presented by Mary Christa Smith, Executive Director of Communities That Care.

Virtual Bookclub with the Park City Library

Lost Connections

In this virtual bookclub, we discussed Johann Hari’s groundbreaking book “Lost Connections” which uncovers the real causes of depression and anxiety while creating real hope for the future. The book takes you on a journey to some deeply entrenched crevices, the thin ice of deception and some high mountain ledges as it breaks up the solid ground the medical model has been standing on, exposing the quicksand of ‘quick-fixes’ and giving you peeks at new vistas and possibilities. This journey will excite you and scare you and challenge you to rethink your beliefs about depression and anxiety.

Booklist For Adults

CONNECT Summit County partnered with the Park City Library to bring you a Virtual Bookclub for Mental Health Awareness Month with 40 titles on everything from poetry memoirs to living with anxiety and depression, to finding hope.

Booklist For Kids

Mental health matters for our kids and the Park City Library has recommended some great reads for young children, youth and teens. Some highlights include Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day, The Seventh Most Important Thing and The Teenager’s Guide to Life, the Universe, and Being Awesome.

Additional Mental Health Resources

Music for the Soul

Listening to fun or uplifting music can relax your mind, energize your body and even help some people better manage pain. The notion that music can influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors probably do not come as much of a surprise. If you’ve ever felt pumped up while listening to your favorite fast-paced rock anthem or been moved to tears by a tender live performance, then you easily understand the power of music to impact moods and even inspire action. Be sure to check-out CONNECT Summit County’s awesome playlist on Spotify whenever you need a mood boost. (Link forthcoming)

Write It Out

One of the best ways to confront our feelings is through writing. Decades of research have suggested that expressive writing can help improve mood, increase psychological well-being, reduce depressive symptoms, decrease PTSD avoidance symptoms, reduce days spent in a hospital and improve immune system functioning (to name a few). The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a few ways you can use expressive writing practices to reduce mental health symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Transforming Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) into Resiliency

Research shows that depression and anxiety, as well as other physical and mental disorders in adults, are linked to adverse childhood experiences. What is considered an adverse experience? How are these childhood experiences related to physical and mental health in adulthood? What are the protective factors that can mitigate adverse childhood experiences? Learn the answers to these questions and more. in this ACEs Webinar: Transforming Childhood Experiences (ACEs) into Resiliency.

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