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Dark to Light: Coping with Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

  • Categories: Behavioral Health, Healthy Lifestyle Talk

About This Event

  • Event Type:Educational Event

Join Northern Inyo Healthcare District on Dec. 1 for a Healthy Lifestyle Talk – Dark to Light: Coping with Stress, Anxiety, and Depression. This virtual presentation is set for Thursday, Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom and simulcast on the NIHD YouTube channel.

The talk features a panel of experts including psychiatrist Dr. Murat Akalin, Licensed Clinical Social workers Heather Edwall and Linda Christensen and certified Occupational Therapist and Perinatal Mental Health professional Monica Jones. The panel will look at the causes of anxiety and depression, what people can do to cope with these often-debilitating conditions, how these conditions can affect children, when people should seek professional aid, and wrap up with a question and answer session.

A recent American Psychiatric Association poll found that nearly of quarter of Americans said that they generally feel depressed in winter. Two in five (38%) say their overall mood declines in the winter. They do look forward to certain winter traditions: 44% of Americans look forward to spending time with friends and family during the holidays, and 49% say enjoying good food improves their mood. Doctors noted the importance of combating loneliness and isolation during this season, as well as promoting cultural connectedness and general well-being.

“Committing to reducing stress in your everyday life is a good place to start overcoming these feelings,” says NIHD Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joy Engblade. “Reach out to your community, family members or friends. Talk with someone you trust about your feelings. Make time for cultural, spiritual, or religious activities. Volunteer with organizations that interest you because giving back to others can help you feel better, too.”

Dr. Engblade also reminds those who suspect another is struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression to check in with them. “A chat over coffee or maybe a walk around the block with someone can seem very basic, but to someone struggling, it can mean the world,” Dr. Engblade said. “And of course, everyone needs to remember to eat healthy, get enough sleep, and move more and sit less for improved health during this time of year.”

Meet the panel:

Dr. Murat Akalin is double board certified in family medicine and psychiatry. Dr. Akalin’s combined training led him to develop skills in identifying the bodily symptoms of psychiatric illness, as well as the emotional and mental symptoms of physical illness. He feels the mind and body are two parts of the same whole; this is the perspective with which he approaches problems patients bring to him. Dr. Akalin works with Toiyabe Indian Health Project and is in private practice. He is working with NIHD to bring psychiatric services to the district.

Heather Edwall is NIHD’s inpatient Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She primarily works with admitted patients during hospital stays, but knows that more complicated cases need to be addressed collaboratively across the District. Edwall has experience working in local behavioral health and other social service programs. She is happy to be a point of contact for patients and family members who may be getting frustrated or confused trying to navigate the mental health system.

Linda Christensen is also one of NIHD’s Licensed Clinical Social Workers. She provides psychotherapy and counseling services to Rural Health Clinic patients, including those in NIHD’s Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program. Christensen holds a Master’s degree from Boise State University, and is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.

Monica Jones is an East Coast native and former wildland firefighter. She earned her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina and has been practicing as an Occupational Therapist since September 2014. Jones is a certified Perinatal Mental Health professional.

This educational presentation is part of NIHD’s ongoing Healthy Lifestyle Talk Series. The talks are open to public and free of charge. NIHD will present the talk in two formats:

  • Broadcast LIVE on the Northern Inyo Healthcare District YouTube channel at Please note that to participate in the Q&A session on YouTube you will need to log into that service. If you do not have a YouTube or Gmail account, it would be best to log into Zoom.
  • Presented live on Zoom:

    Meeting ID: 837 7170 1194
    Passcode: 367834
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    Meeting ID: 837 7170 1194
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  • Price: Free
  • Registration Instructions: No Registration Required