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A white man in a blue shirt smiles, next to a black woman with short hair, glasses, a white turtleneck and yellow and blue cardigan. Underneath the man, a teal box with blue text reads "Chris Heren, Former NBA player, wellness advocate." A teal box with blue text under the woman reads "Jan Brown, Executive Director, spiritworks foundation"

New Community Conversation will focus on Mental Health, Substance Use in wake of COVID-19

 The PATH Foundation is excited to announce an upcoming virtual Community Conversation on Wednesday, April 7, at 7 p.m., focusing on mental health and substance abuse in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This free event, offered on Zoom, is highlighted on the www.pathtobetter.org website for information and registration.

Featured speakers are the Rev. Jan Brown and Chris Herren, both with years of personal and professional experience in the recovery community. Herren is the founder of Herren Wellness, an ex-NBA player and recovery advocate. Brown is an addiction educator and founder and executive director of the SpiritWorks Foundation, which supports the recovery community.

The event will be moderated by veteran news reporter and editor Randy Rieland, who penned last year’s prize-winning “Opioid Ripples” series in the Fauquier Times.

Meet the speakers:

Jan Brown is an addiction educator and founder and executive director of the SpiritWorks Foundation, which supports the recovery community.

Chris Herren is the founder of Herren Wellness, an ex-NBA player and recovery advocate.

The panel will discuss the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and substance abuse in people of all ages and how to take the first step to getting help.

In December of last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 42% of people surveyed reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, compared to only 11% from January through June of 2019.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been far reaching,” explained Christy Connolly, PATH Foundation president and CEO. “As social distancing and quarantine have become vital tools to control the spread of COVID-19, many folks have become more vulnerable to loneliness, mental health issues and social isolation. A lot of people need help, and many don’t know where to turn. We’re providing this online discussion to help those in need as well as their family members. It has been a challenging time for all of us.

“It is important, especially now, to be proactive in our approach to mental health, so we can best support our loved ones and our community’s overall wellness,” said Connolly.

For more information about the Community Conversation, visit www.pathtobetter.org.

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