Chico State Alumni Association

Wildcat Connect Webinar | Mental Health

Mental Health Webinar

Date: Thursday, January 27, 2022 | 2 p.m.

Title: Mental Health Awareness 2022 - How we all play a role in the emotional well-being of our friends, family, and communities.

Description: In this webinar the panelists will address the topic of mental health and well-being. They will discuss how having conversations about these topics can help improve our communities by making it more acceptable for those suffering from mental health challenges to seek help, and get on the road to recovery. They will also talk about how everyone can take action to improve mental health in their families, schools, and communities. In addition, mental health isn't just about mental health challenges, it's also about maintaining a positive state of emotional well-being.

Moderator: Francisca Ines Duenas, WellCat Counseling Center Clinical Director

Panelists: Jeremy Wilson, Program Director for California Mental Health Services Authority; Amanda Cruse (Journalism '02) Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; Lorene Clark Lacayo, (English, '01) MA, NBC-HWC, RYT 200, Certified Wellbeing Coach

Host: Dr. Holly Nevarez (Health Science, '97)

Holly NevarezDr. Holly Nevarez is a Professor in the Department of Public Health & Health Services Administration at Chico State. Nevarez is an alumnus of the program and received a bachelor's degree in Health Science with an option in Health Education. Upon graduation, she returned to her home state of Illinois and earned her MPH with a concentration in Community Health Administration from Benedictine University. She went on to complete her doctorate in public health from Oregon State University. Before she became a professor, Holly worked for 12 years in hospital and clinical settings, teaching at both The Bryman School in Phoenix, Arizona and Oregon State University before coming to Chico State. She currently teaches students in Community Health about poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity by having them run the Harvest Food Drive for the local food bank each fall. Other community projects include an organ donor drive, several fitness and nutrition programs at local schools, and a social marketing project to gain school supplies for the local Boys & Girls Club.

Jeremy WilsonJeremy Wilson graduated from Chico State University with a B.A. in English and fortuitously went straight to work in Butte County for the Department of Behavioral Health while also consulting for the Center for Applied Research Solutions, a contractor with behavioral health expertise that brought youths together to get ideas for reducing underage drinking. He went on to get a master's degree in public policy and public administration from Northwestern University while continuing to work for Butte County. There, he rose through the ranks to become the county coordinator for Mental Health Services Act programs and manager of public information, ethnic services, and workforce and development training. An innovative and award-winning project in the last category opened new doors for Jeremy: He co-created an initiative to train librarians about behavioral health needs and available services, while also expanding and updating library resources in those areas. The project inspired the California State Library to hire Jeremy to do similar work in libraries across the state, which he did for the next two years. Jeremy is passionate about spreading messages of encouragement and hope about mental health and substance use disorders. In part, he wants others to feel support like he got from his own phenomenal parents when some of his track teammates bullied him when he was in high school in Nevada County. In 2018, Jeremy started his current assignment in Sacramento, where he is overseeing contractors working in prevention and early intervention at CalMHSA, which operates the ongoing “Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement” campaign to reduce stigma and discrimination, promote student mental health, and prevent suicide.

Amanda CruseAmanda Cruse is registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Before becoming a therapist, Cruse was on a path of self-discovery working as a public relations professional and a sales executive. Cruse enjoys helping those who want to find more meaning in their lives and those that are interested in discovering their true self and life purpose.  ​​She has her MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and completed her bachelor's in journalism at Chico State.

Lorene Clark LacayoLorene Clark Lacayo is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, and has worked professionally in health education for more than two decades, and in health and wellness coaching for the past decade. She graduated from Chico State with a bachelor's degree in English, and a minor in Spanish in 2001. Lacayo also holds professional coaching certifications from several different programs along with a master’s degree in holistic health education, somatic psychology. She currently works as a well-being coach, mentor, trainer, curriculum designer, and consultant with mission-driven organizations, in corporate healthcare, and private practice.  She is also the co-creator of the Coach Collaborative, a podcast and growing coach community. She has been a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) for several years and is also a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). In the Fall of 2021, Lacayo was part of creating, implementing, and graduating Wave’s inaugural student cohort in the first ever NBHWC-approved Emotional Well-being Coach Training Program.