CSUSB Palm Desert Campus to host summit on reducing depression


The Coachella Valley Health Collaborative will hold a summit on Friday, April 11, at the Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus to discuss solutions to reducing depression.

The Coachella Valley Health Collaborative will hold a summit on Friday, April 11, at the Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus to discuss solutions to reducing depression.

This free summit will take place in the campus’s Indian Wells Theater from 8:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. where lunch will be provided. The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus is located at 37-500 Cook St.

The summit is primarily designed for individuals involved in the delivery or receipt of services, including doctors, nurses, therapists, life coaches, referral services, homeless shelters, police departments, non-profits, non-provider organizations, non-mental health community, (non-licensed) people in recovery, family members, school counselors, psychologists, senior center personnel and clergy.

Those interested in attending should contact Regina Garrison in advance at rgarriso@csusb.edu or (760) 341-2883, ext. 78144.

Attendees will discuss and implement a local campaign to reduce stigmas related to depression and develop ideas on how to increase services for those who need them.

Jerry Wengerd, director of the Riverside County Department of Mental Health, will give welcome remarks at 9 a.m.

The keynote speech will be delivered by Jill Gover, clinical psychologist and director of counseling at The Center in Palm Springs. Her topic will be “Defining Depression: Metaphors and Stories.” Gover specializes in addiction, anxiety, depression, aging and LGBT issues.

Jenna LeComte-Hinely, director of research and evaluation at Health Assessment Resource Center, will discuss the “State of Depression in the Coachella Valley.”

A panel discussion will take place in the morning session on the topics of youth with Janelle Gragnon, MFTI; older adults with Nancy Eisenhower, LMFT and clinical therapist, Riverside County Department of Mental Health; PTSD/veterans with Christina Hassija, CSUSB psychology professor; meds and depression with Robert Gardiner, psychiatrist at CSUSB’s Student Health and Psychological Counseling Center; people with disabilities with Jim Rothblatt, LMFT; and depression and suicide with Jessica van der Stad, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Attendees will participate in afternoon breakout sessions on topics pertaining to Hispanics/African Americans, LGBTQ, Older Adults, People with Disabilities and Youth. The brain-storming sessions will collect information to be used in the development of a strategic plan to reduce stigma and increase access to services.

“The Coachella Valley Health Collaborative, under the direction of Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus, has been a leader in providing a meaningful forum to advance issues and improve the health and well-being of residents in the Coachella Valley,” said Gary Jeandron, CVHC project director. “The three mental health summits dealing with the serious issues of depression will identify best practices, develop a plan, and form a collaboration to reduce depression in our residents.”

The Riverside County Department of Mental Health provides funding for the mental health summit as a result of the Mental Health Services Act, Prevention and Early Intervention funding. The MHSA was approved by voters to help transform California’s public mental health system. The Prevention and Early Intervention component focuses on moving from a “fail first” to a “help first” system and has allowed funding for activities like this summit.

The collaborative’s goal is to increase the desert region’s access to mental health services by identifying gaps in services and developing a strategic plan to increase service levels.

The Coachella Valley Health Collaborative serves the multiple and diverse communities of the Coachella Valley through education and public advocacy and by acting as a catalyst to improve the health status of all residents and their accessibility to quality, state-of-the art healthcare. A major goal is to improve health by increasing community collaboration and decreasing duplication and fragmentation of services.

For more information about the Coachella Valley Health Collaborative, contact Gary Jeandron, project director, at cvhc@csusb.edu or (760) 341-2883, ext. 78163 or visit the collaborative’s website.

For more information about the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, contact Mike Singer in the campus’s Office of Public Affairs at (760) 341-2883, ext. 78107 or msinger@csusb.edu.