Think Fast … COVID-19: Mental Health and Well-Being

Thursday, April 30 | 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. (EDT)
Complimentary livestream


What impact is the COVID-19 pandemic having on mental health?   With some stay-at-home orders in place for more than a month, children are trying to learn remotely and have limited access to activities, parents are managing work-from-home life or the loss jobs and everyone is dealing with the absence of social anchors and connections.  Click in for a panel discussion of the impact on mental health and well-being on adults and children during these unprecedented times.

This event is sponsored by the UNC General Alumni Association and Carolina Public Humanities.

Panelists: Patrick Akos, Mitch Prinstein and Crystal Schiller; moderated by Max Owre. Read their bios below.

Patrick Akos

Dr. Akos’ professional experiences as a teacher, school and college counselor inform his work as a professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In his work with children, adolescents and young adults, he discovered the power of self-awareness and agency toward valuable strengths and well-being (e.g., positive emotion, relationships, engagement, meaning). This is evident especially in vulnerable moments of transition, as he promotes hope within students and clients – both goals and pathways to success. In his professional roles, he strives to be empathetic and research-informed to co-construct and empower others toward flourishing.

He is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and supervisor, as well as a licensed K-12 school counselor and secondary and middle grades teacher in North Carolina. He has served in a variety of leadership roles and was recognized as the American School Counselor Association’s Counselor Educator of the Year

Overall, he strives to lead, teach, counsel and serve others consistent with a strengths orientation.

Mitch Prinstein

Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D., ABPP currently serves as the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of psychology and neuroscience, and the assistant dean for Honors Carolina at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He served as the director of clinical psychology at Yale University before being recruited to UNC to serve in that same position for more than a dozen years.  He is board certified (ABPP) in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Mitch’s research examines interpersonal models of internalizing symptoms and health risk behaviors among adolescents, with a specific focus on the unique role of peer relationships in the developmental psychopathology of depression and self-injury.  He has served as president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology and president of the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.  He also served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, associate editor of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and on the executive boards of the American Psychological Association, the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology, the Coalition for the Advancement and Application of Psychological Science and the publication board of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

Mitch has been recognized for his contributions to research (American Psychological Association Society of Clinical Psychology Theodore Blau Early Career Award, Columbia University/Brickell Award for research on suicidality), classroom instruction (e.g., the UNC Chapel Hill Tanner Award for Undergraduate Teaching, the Psi Chi Professor of the Year Award, the Psychology Club Department Research Mentor Award), for professional development training (APAGS Raymond D. Fowler Award), as a mentor (e.g., ABCT Outstanding Mentor Award, SSCP Lawrence H. Cohen Outstanding Mentor Award), and for his national contributions to education and training at the local, state, and national level (CUDCP Beverly Thorn Award for Outstanding DCT Service).  He also is the author of Popular: Finding Happiness and Success in a World That Cares Too Much About the Wrong Kinds of Relationships, translated into seven languages and sold in more than 150 countries.  Mitch and his work have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Time, Forbes, CNN, The Atlantic and many other outlets.

Crystal Schiller

Crystal Schiller, Ph. D., is a clinical psychologist, assistant professor of psychiatry, and co-director of the UNC Perinatal Psychiatry Program.

Dr. Schiller’s NIH-funded research addresses why women are more susceptible to depression than men. She has demonstrated that hormones trigger eating disorder symptoms, smoking, depression, and anxiety in women. She uses brain imaging technology to understand how hormones provoke changes in the brain, with a goal of improving our understanding of how hormone changes that occur during pregnancy trigger depression in some, but not all, women. She also hopes that by contributing to our knowledge of the biological basis of postpartum depression, this work may also serve to reduce the stigma and self-blame associated with mental illness in women.

Dr. Schiller directs behavioral health services for the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders, which includes individual and group psychotherapy for pregnant and postpartum women in psychiatric and obstetric outpatient clinics located in Chapel Hill and Raleigh and on the UNC Perinatal Psychiatry Inpatient Unit. Therapy services focus on mindfulness, self-compassion, and value-based action as methods of promoting wellbeing and vitality. Dr. Schiller specializes in the use of acceptance and commitment therapy, interpersonal therapy, and behavioral health interventions for mood and anxiety disorders and chronic health problems.

In addition to her usual duties, Dr. Schiller has been teaching coping skills, leading support groups, and providing individual therapy to front line healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Max Owre - Moderator

Max Owre started working with Carolina Public Humanities in 2009, when it was still known as the Program in the Humanities and Human Values. He served as associate director (2010-13) and interim director (2013-14) before assuming the position of executive director in July 2014.

A graduate of the University of Vermont, he obtained his Ph. D. in modern European history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008. Max is a lecturer in the History Department, teaching courses in European, world and colonial history since 2007.

Max is a principal organizer, and frequent host and moderator of CPH Events. He also lectures frequently for CPH on various topics in French and European history.

Share via: