Media Advisory: Spring Speaker Series To Focus on Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday, February 18, 2021
  • What: Spring Mental Health Speaker Series
  • Where: Online via Zoom webinars. Register at
  • When: 1 p.m. (MST) on March 3, March 17 and April 7

Michael Grandner, PhDTUCSON, Ariz. — The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing stress has had a profound impact on mental health. Reseach by Mental Health America shows that “the number of people screening with moderate-to-severe symptoms of depression and anxiety has continued to increase throughout 2020 and remains higher than rates prior to COVID-19.”

The Spring Mental Health Speaker Series, presented by the University of Arizona Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in partnership with the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson’s Department of Psychiatry, will examine the psychological impacts of COVID-19 and how mindfulness can help support mental health and well-being. The webinars, which take place Wednesdays, March 3, March 17 and April 7, at 1 p.m., are free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session will be available after each webinar.

March 3: Sleep and Dreams During COVID-19

Michael Grandner, PhD, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program and associate psychiatry professor, will present an overview of the rapidly evolving scientific evidence on how the pandemic has impacted sleep, rhythms and dreams, as well as clinical insights and suggestions for managing sleep during a pandemic.

March 17: Through the Looking Glass: Reflections on the State of Mental Health in Arizona

Jasleen Chhatwal, MBBS, MD, president of the Arizona Psychiatric Society and an assistant psychiatry professor, explores the history and future of mental health care in Arizona with an eye toward access to care, and health care parity and equity.

April 7: Mindfulness and its Role in Mental Health and Wellbeing

Pamela Mirsky, MD, assistant psychiatry professor, will share the many important benefits and applications of mindfulness. She will also review the evidence and utility of the practice, especially as it relates to mental well-being and current ideas around treating mental ailments. 

For more information or to register for the Spring Mental Health Speaker Series, visit

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About Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
OLLI-UA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Affiliate Partner of the University of Arizona offering a life-enriching education for adults 50+. OLLI is a volunteer-run learning community. Each year 1,200+ members explore hundreds of class offerings, keeping participants active mentally and engaged socially. There are no tests or grades - just the joy of learning. Learn more at

About the University of Arizona Department of Psychiatry
The Department of Psychiatry, founded in 1967 as one of the original departments in the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, excels in enhancing behavioral health through scientific research, education, training, community leadership, and service. Dedicated to compassionate, community-based mental health services, the department is leading efforts to comprehensively approach psychiatric disorders, prepare future clinicians, prevent psychiatric disorders, help guide community efforts for improving behavioral health, and provide state-of-the-art care that meets the needs of our communities and promotes social justice. Through the University's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the department is leading the way in psychiatric medicine. For more information, visit (Follow us: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube).

About the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, visit (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

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