Los Rios aims to provide a space for mental health wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic


Canva image created by Lydia Tesfaye

A mental health workshop: “From Surviving to Thriving” was hosted on Sept. 24. Los Rios students can access counseling, telehealth visits and other resources that are available to them.

Counselors, professors and staff within the Los Rios Community College District have spoken out to bring awareness and reduce the stigmas that surround mental health.
Los Rios Interim Director of Mental Health and Wellness Dr. Chase Moore hosted a mental health workshop “From Surviving to Thriving,” on Sept. 24. Moore said using the S.I.F.T-ing process is one of the ways we can calm our thoughts.
“The S.I.F.T-ing process is when we take time to pay attention to the sensations, images, feelings and thoughts that we have going on in our mind,” Moore said.
Moore added that this exercise allows us to create balance and integration between our body and our minds.
“The way to reduce stigma is to do the inner work ourselves,” Moore said.
Moore also said mental health is a big umbrella because it falls in line with our everyday routines, relationships, goals and perspectives.
“I think if we expand that it really helps us understand that we are all on this kind of spectrum of wellness,” Moore said.
Cosumnes River College Psychology Professor Veronica Dobson said the difference between collectivistic and individualistic societies has to do with why people are expected to keep their emotions more in check in some cultures.
“Folks who just don’t know that mental health isn’t an issue, they just need to hear about it,” Dobson said. “They need to learn about it to understand that their way is not the only way.”
Dobson said we have a strong tradition in the west of thinking about physical and mental health as opposites.
“The mind is in the brain and the brain is the body,” Dobson said. “Physical and emotional experiences are one in the same, we just perceive them as if they’re separate or different.”
Dobson said finding resources that are available, along with reaching out and making connections with other people as best as you can, is a way to achieve mental wellness, especially during a pandemic.
CRC Counselor Ea Edwards said having someone there to listen, provide support or provide resources is what makes having a community indispensable.
“Depending on what the person’s role is in your life, it’s one way to have some mastery over something that usually feels bigger than us and more,” Edwards said.
Edwards said your community might be your family, friends, co-workers or your classmates.
“It can be defined as whoever makes sense for you, but being able to get resources from other people is just a really important part to having a mentally healthy way of living,” Edwards said.
Edwards also said this sense of community allows us to address things like oppression, white supremacy and other things in our system.
She said the stresses of college are enough.
“I think of mental health care on college campuses as just like having tutoring on college campuses,” Edwards said.
Edwards said you’re going to have a time where you might be able to benefit from a little extra support and the same should be kept in mind for mental health.
Edwards added that all counselors in the Los Rios District utilize crisis counseling.
“So for students who are having an immediate mental health crisis, we’re able to help them during our regular business hours,” Edwards said.
Moore said he encourages us all to see to understand those in need and help regulate them so that they can feel like they’re not alone.
“I truly believe in the strength of humanity and humans and I feel like a lot of people with understanding and community can make it through a lot of tough things, I’ve seen it happen,” Moore said.
Through workshops, free counseling, sexual wellness appointments, crisis counseling and free telehealth visits, resources are available to all students.