Mental Health Podcasts - "Fireside Chats" subtitle banner

Our podcasts are basically trying to increase mental health awareness and reduce stigma by increasing the conversation on various mental health topics. The more we talk about, the less the stigma and the more normal it will be to discuss various common mental health issues students, faculty and everyone in their daily lives struggle with. On this page, we offer casual conversations with leading experts on various mental health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder, etc to inform our target audience about the topics and spark conversations about discussing mental health and its significance on overall physical health and a healthy mind. Because these are casual or informal conversations talking about serious issues and are primarily informing, we thought “fireside chats” was the best title as fireside chats are defined as informal conversations disseminating important and relevant information. Get ready for some fun and fast conversations with leading experts, faculty and community members to dissect some of the most common mental health issues!

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Introduction to mental health, what it means, Dean Deas's work and advice for students

Dean Deborah Deas is the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean of the UCR School of Medicine and CEO of Clinical Affairs. Dean Deas is an expert in adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. In this podcast, Dr. Deas discusses what mental health really means from her expert opinion and her work in the field. The conversation further delves into the significance, relevance, and the necessity to discuss mental health at UCR along with advice to students on reducing stigma.

The impact of social factors, communications and associations on mental health and the role of stigma

Dr. Carpiano is a Public Policy and Sociology Professor at UCR along with being a co-editor of a leading journal for medical sociology scholarship, Journal of Health and Social Behaviour. Dr. Carpiano’s expertise lies in exploring how various social aspects such as race-ethnicity, socioeconomic status and societal contributions impact the mental and physical health of adults and children, as a medical sociologist and a population health scientist. In this podcast, the discussion delves into the significance of various societal factors on one’s mental health including stressors that can lead to various mental health illnesses.

Stress and its impacts on mental health, Headspace app, and stress reduction for faculty/staff

Dr. Kate Sweeny is a psychology professor at UCR. She is an expert in understanding stress and how to cope with stressful situations. Her research explores how people deal with stressful moments of uncertainty and how doctors talk to their patients and the impact on patient stress. In this podcast, Dr. Sweeny  discusses what stress means, causes and her research finding on stress reductions. The discussion continues with Dr. Sweeny's work with the Headspace app, how to reduce stress for faculty and staff and practicing wellness to decrease stress and improve daily wellbeing.

Introduction to stuttering, symptoms and treatments of anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

Dr. Gerald Maguire is the Chair of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the UCR School of Medicine. Dr. Maguire supervises the psychiatry residents in their training partnership with the UCR School of Medicine and the Riverside County Department of Mental Health. Dr. Maguire is an expert in psychiatry teachings and understanding various common mental health and psychiatry issues such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He is also an expert in understanding stuttering and it’s treatments. In this podcast, Dr. Maguire discusses his work with stuttering, and delve in to the causes and symptoms of disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Pediatric mental health, mood and anxiety disorders impacting children, advice for parents

Dr. Takesha Cooper is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCR School of Medicine and a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Riverside County Department of Mental Health in Family Mental Health Services in Lake Elsinore. Dr. Cooper’s expertise lies in understanding pediatric mental health, cognitive behavior therapy and mood anxiety disorders in children. In this podcast, Dr. Cooper discusses her work with the County Mental Health Department and understand what is peds mental health, and symptoms and treatment for children’s mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Cooper also shares some expert advice for parents on how to cope with and help children suffering from mood and anxiety disorders.

Introduction to Autism, it's misconception, symptoms and treatments, parent-child dilemma

Dr. Jan Blacher is a distinguished professor of Education and UC Presidential Chair in the Graduate School of Education at UCR. Dr. Blacher is also the director of the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center and an expert in Autism study and research. One of her National Institute of Health (NIH) funded research grants explores the family context of adolescent and children with and without developing disabilities and autism and family coping in Anglo and Latinos families. In this podcast, Dr. Blacher discusses what autism is, it’s misconceptions, symptoms, treatments and advice for parents. Dr. Blacher also talks about a very important perspective and dynamic and the influence on a child suffering with autism: family contributions and context for coping.

What is adolescent psychiatry, common issues and symptoms, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and work with Riverside County

Dr. Richard Lee is an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at UCR and the program director of child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program for the department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences. He also serves as the director for the Countywide Children’s Program for Riverside University Health System– Behavioral Health. Dr. Lee is an expert in adolescent and child psychiatry as a practicing psychiatrist in the Riverside County especially with PTSD and cross-cultural psychiatry studies. In this podcast, Dr. Lee discusses what adolescent psychiatry is, different components, differentiations between adolescent and adult psychiatry, and PTSD. Dr. Lee also talks about stigma and how students can get help.

Introduction to eating disorders and correlation between close relationships, emotions, development and symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression

Dr. Jessica Borelli is an associate professor of Psychological Science at the University of California, Irvine. She is also a clinical psychologist specializing in the field of developmental psychopathology. Dr. Borelli’s expertise lie in understanding the relationship between close personal relationships and connections, emotions, health and how family dynamics can impact, either improve or worsen, one’s mental health conditions. Dr. Borelli also maintains a small private practice seeing children, adults and families while also directing the THRIVE Lab where she investigates the links between close relationships and health. In this podcast, Dr. Borelli discusses her work with the THRIVE Lab, the correlations between relationships and various mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders and eating disorders. Thank you, Dr. Borelli!

Understanding the aspects of a healthy brain, various brain mechanisms that control a healthy pathway and the UCI Brain Initiative

Dr. Michael Yassa is a professor and chancellor’s fellow in the department of Neurobiology and Behavior and in the department of Neurology and Psychiatry & Human Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. He is also the director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and the UCI Brain Initiative. Dr. Yassa is an expert in understanding the brain mechanisms and pathways for learning and memory storage as he directs his own lab, the Yassa Lab for Translational Neurobiology, to understand how the memory pathways are altered with aging and neuropsychiatric diseases. In this podcast, Dr. Yassa discusses his research focus in his lab, how various neuropsychiatric diseases such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia alter the normal brain pathways and work with the UCI Brain. Dr. Yassa also elaborates on UCI Brain, what a healthy brain is and how to maintain a healthy brain and reduce stigma associated with mental illnesses.

Introduction to the UCR Brain Game Center and understanding various techniques to optimize brain fitness via the medium of computer trainings and games

Dr. Aaron Seitz is a psychology professor at UCR and the Director of the Brain Game Center at UCR. Dr. Seitz’s expertise lies in understanding the malleable brain and studies that address mechanism of human perception, attention, learning and memory. In this podcast, Dr. Seitz  discusses his work with the Brain Game Center and the work and studies being done. Dr. Seitz also details what brain fitness is, game software currently used in the center and how engaging in brain software can lead to an increased brain fitness and improve critical thinking, memory and perception.

Discussion on resources, services and training offered by the WELL to UCR students and staff

Connie Marmolejo is a Mental Health Educator and part of the team at The Well at UCR. The Well is UCR’s center for wellness and health promotions that strives to create a safe and supportive space through the practice and promotion of healthy bodies, minds and communities. The Well strives to create both healthy minds and bodies via mental health outreach, education and promotion along with awareness fliers, events and materials for a healthy physical health as well. Connie is an expert in mental health promotion, education and outreach through her work at the Riverside County. In this podcast, Connie discusses what the Well does, its work with mental health outreach, advocacy and education and the abundance of resources for students, staff, and faculty to strengthen mental health, outreach and awareness. Connie also discusses different initiatives and trainings offered by the well with regards to encouraging support for mental health.

Resources offered by The Well:

Please visit The Well for information about other extensive resources and programs offered by The Well.

Introduction to various therapies utilized to treat common mental illnesses and common mental health issues dealt with as a counselor in CAPS on campus

Dr. Eryn Parks is a licenced psychologist and counselor in the Counseling and Psychological Services, CAPS, on campus at UCR. He provides individual therapy focused on his client’s needs. Dr. Parks is an expert in understanding various treatment therapies utilized in counseling to cope with mental illnesses such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. In this podcast, Dr. Parks discusses common mental illnesses he has encountered as a counselor on campus, definitions and correlations between anxiety, self-esteem and self worth, and therapies used to treat various mental illnesses such as depression, and anxiety. Dr. Parks also sheds light on the power of mental health awareness, how to reduce stigma and how students can access help and some services at CAPS.

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Counseling and Psychological
Services (CAPS)

CAPS professionals provide a range of programs for students to promote mental health, emotional resilience and wellness throughout the campus community. Clinical services include individual counseling, couples counseling and group therapy, as well as referrals for psychiatric services. All services are free, confidential and provided by a diverse and multiculturally competent professional staff.

Veitch Student Center, North Wing

(951) 827-5531
24/7 Crisis Counselor: (951) 827-8255 (UCR-TALK) or 2-8255 (2-TALK) from campus phones

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP)
The Faculty & Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is designed to offer confidential counseling, referral and other needed services to staff, faculty, and their family members with personal concerns, including credit or financial concerns, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence and family problems.