Brown Bag Talk to Examine Mental Health Challenges in Higher Education

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Jermaine Kenner
Jermaine Kenner

Jermaine Kenner, a mental health counselor at the Counseling Center and a State University of New York at Fredonia alumnus, will explore mental health challenges in higher education in the final virtual Brown Bag Lunch talk of the fall semester on Wednesday, Dec. 2, from noon to 1 p.m.

In “Overcoming Boundaries,” Mr. Kenner will describe how today’s incoming students are dealing with more complex situations due to an ever-changing world. As the stigma associated with mental health issues has declined, people in need of care are speaking up more about their needs, Mr. Kenner explained, and that creates stress on network providers to accommodate their needs.

In many cases, people second guess whether they have a need for services, Kenner said. Issues such as insurance, transportation, scheduling around employment and child care already create barriers to treatment, Kenner added. “Now during this pandemic, the physical boundaries became more concrete,” he added.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in greater anxiety due to fears of infection; increased feelings of isolation and loneliness due to social distancing protocols; decreased physical activity as a result of closures or restricted operating hours of athletic facilities; greater need for on-demand mental health services and cabin fever.

The decision by the Counseling Center, amid the coronavirus pandemic, to go all virtual has resulted in positive responses, said Kenner, who has worked in the mental health and substance abuse field for the last 13 years and is the proud father of two children.
A Buffalo native who majored in Economics and Finance at Fredonia, Kenner has master’s degrees in Agency and School Counseling from St. Bonaventure University and Psychology from Capella University. He is trained in eye movement and desensitization and reprocessing, motivational interviewing and substance abuse treatment.

SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Jack Croxton will introduce Kenner.

The program can be accessed via Zoom at https://fredonia-edu.zoom.us/j/99579130178?pwd=SngwUnNKS090Nk9aOTdpWUVlQnY4dz09#success

The monthly Brown Bag series, presented by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, features informal talks by Fredonia faculty and guest speakers. A brief discussion follows each presentation.

Funding for the Brown Bag Lunch series is provided by the Carnahan Jackson Fund for the Humanities of the Fredonia College Foundation and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Andy Karafa.