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Luther hosts mental health panel

Panelists+Madeleine+Ross+%28%2720%29%2C+Professor+Emeritus+Paul+Gardner%2C+and+Associate+Professor+of+Nursing+Jayme+Nelson+discussed+their+personal+journeys+with+mental+health.
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Luther hosts mental health panel

Panelists Madeleine Ross ('20), Professor Emeritus Paul Gardner, and Associate Professor of Nursing Jayme Nelson discussed their personal journeys with mental health.

Panelists Madeleine Ross ('20), Professor Emeritus Paul Gardner, and Associate Professor of Nursing Jayme Nelson discussed their personal journeys with mental health.

Linh Do ('21) | Chips

Panelists Madeleine Ross ('20), Professor Emeritus Paul Gardner, and Associate Professor of Nursing Jayme Nelson discussed their personal journeys with mental health.

Linh Do ('21) | Chips

Linh Do ('21) | Chips

Panelists Madeleine Ross ('20), Professor Emeritus Paul Gardner, and Associate Professor of Nursing Jayme Nelson discussed their personal journeys with mental health.

Linh Do, Staff Writer

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A panel titled “Here’s My Story: Experiences with Mental Health,” consisting of storytelling from members of Luther’s faculty and students, took place Nov. 7 in Valders 206. The event was sponsored in collaboration between the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, Counseling Service, and Active Minds.

The panelists were Professor Emeritus Paul Gardner, Associate Professor of Nursing Jayme Nelson (‘87), and student Madeleine Ross (‘20). Each of the panelists shared their journeys with mental health with Associate Professor of Psychology Joe Breitenstein as the panel’s moderator.

According to Counseling Service counselor Bobbi-Jo Molokken, the event’s goal was to create an environment for dialogue on mental health issues on campus. Assistant Director of the CEPE Krista Holland also thinks that the panel presents an opportunity for Luther to address mental health issues on campus.

“The CEPE aims to work across campus to address topics that are timely and pertinent to the Luther community,” Holland said. “Mental health is a topic that comes up in different settings, but isn’t often addressed publicly. After conversations with Counseling Service, we decided to work together to offer some personal voices on the topic.”

The event covered a wide range of topics. Gardner shared his journey with obsessive-compulsive disorder, Nelson shared her experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, and Ross shared her story with her diagnosis of depression and anxiety. All the stories reflect the panelists’ hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage others to care for their own mental health.

Gardner started with discussing his experiences with OCD and what has been helpful for him. He addressed that he experienced being stuck with the ‘what if’ thoughts in different points of his life and talked about how those thoughts kept his other thoughts captive. Gardner suffered from relationship OCD in his twenty, harm OCD in his forty, and responsibility in his fifty.

“Each became an obsession with significant consequences for my life and how I thought about myself,” Gardner said.

Gardner went on and explained each letter in OCD along with his own self-examples. He ended with providing the context and evidence for the innovative treatments for OCD in terms of the cognitive and behavioral parts.

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