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Mental health matters: UCPL to host programs on mental health, emotional wellness and surrounding stigma

TENNERTON — This week, the Upshur County Public Library will be hosting two programs focused on breaking the stigma and silence that all too often surrounds struggles with mental health and emotional wellness.

The first presentation, “Breaking the Stigma: Let’s Talk About Mental Health,” is slated for 6-7 p.m. this Wednesday, Jan. 29, at UCPL.

The seminar will feature a talk by licensed professional counselor Kirsten Coit-Fetty, who will share information about what we currently know about mental health, what resources are available for people dealing with mental health struggles, and an outlook of hope for individuals, as well as our county, state, and country.

Additionally, Coit-Fetty will offer an overview of current mental health statistics, provide information on emerging research on Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACE, what these experiences are and what they mean for mental health. She’ll also discuss resources that are available to help those who face mental health challenges.

Coit-Fetty is Licensed Professional Counselor, a West Virginia-certified school counselor and an Approved Licensed Professional Supervisor for counselors. She has worked as a mental health professional in a community setting, in higher education, and now in the local school environment. This path has led her to focus on preventive work and community empowerment for supporting mental health.

Then, on Saturday, Feb. 1, join the UCPL for a second program focused on mental health and peer support which gets underway at 10:30 a.m.

Andi Cartier from the Depression-Bipolar Support Alliance of Upshur County will share information on peer support for mental health and focus attention on the concept of personal mental ‘wellness’ as a continuum that encompasses several aspects of an individual.

Cartier believes human beings vary in their personal wellness strengths and challenges — and in the impact those have on one’s ability to live a personally fulfilling life.

This Saturday session will include discussions of myths about mental health, how stigma negatively impacts those living with mental health challenges, and how friends, family and community can be active allies for those living with mental health challenges.

Cartier is the director of the Depression-Bipolar Support Alliance of Upshur County, where she also serves as a Peer Specialist and Peer Support Group Facilitator. In addition, she is an active member of the Leadership Team for Celebrate Recovery, serving as a Small Group and 12-Step Class leader, Large Group Teacher,and Sponsor.

Cartier holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and has earned her Mental Health First Aid-Adult certification.

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