Where Compassion Meets Action: California State Library Mental Health Initiative Webinar Series

Jennifer Peterson /

Image courtesy InfopeopleThe WebJunction Course Catalog provides free access to library-focused self-paced courses and webinar recordings. Through the generous support of OCLC and many state library agencies across the United States, WebJunction continues to provide timely and relevant learning content for you to access anytime, from anywhere.

In addition to webinars and courses created through WebJunction, we are pleased to include quality content from other organizations. As part of the California State Library Mental Health Initiative, Infopeople, the education and training branch of Califa, hosted a webinar series, Where Compassion Meets Action, and we're pleased they have allowed us to make these important webinars available in the WebJunction catalog. Be sure to explore all that Infopeople has to offer, including their upcoming webinars.

Click on the webinar titles below to go to each of the webinars in the WebJunction Course Catalog, and remember, with each course or webinar you view from the catalog, you earn a certificate of completion!

A Trauma-Informed Lens Changes What You See

Libraries are uniquely situated to offer a place of safety and acceptance, an opportunity for connection, and a rich source of information about mental health and well-being. In this webinar, Barbara Jessing, Mental Health Practitioner and Family Therapist, presents an overview of the concept of trauma informed care and how it applies to the library. We explore the definition and meaning of trauma and the related concept of toxic stress, how it affects early development, and how it can leave a lifelong impact on mental and physical well-being. When we understand the roots of traumatic stress, we are better able to mobilize the positive forces of resilience and create environments that contribute to healing. We also discuss literary aspects of trauma and resilience.

Creating a Safe and Welcoming Space in Your Library: Working with Patrons in Crisis

This webinar provides front-line library staff with tools and real library examples to be more effective in meeting mental health challenges that may occur. Attendees learn about creating a supportive environment through connections to community organizations and how to develop more successful communication strategies. Additional discussion includes techniques for identifying patrons in crises and developing evaluation skills and de-escalation plans. Presenters Mary Leasure, Social Services Liaison, and Tiffany Barrios, Library Supervisor from Glendale Public Library examine ways to develop safer, supportive and healthier environments for both staff and the community.

Creating Library Spaces and Programs that Nurture Teen Mental Health and Healing

This webinar provides front-line library staff with tools to better understand the mental health challenges that 21st century teens face as they enter school and public library spaces. Presenter Lisa Harris examines the ways that mental health challenges impede the ability for teens to thrive today and look at some real-life examples of libraries at the forefront of the movement to acknowledge these challenges and create spaces in which these challenges are addressed.

Cultural Humility in Public Libraries: Colleagues and Customers

In this webinar, UNLV Health Sciences Librarian Xan Goodman, discusses how using a lens of cultural humility can help you become better colleague and a provider of library services to patrons. We look at the connections between mental health and wellness and feelings of value and belongingness, and also the connections between mental health and the three dimensions of cultural humility. At the end of this webinar, you will be empowered to begin your journey of cultural humility and to explore ways you can use the framework of cultural humility in your library with colleagues and patrons.

Engaging Your Community in Gang Prevention and Intervention

Gang participation and gang recruitment diverts promising youth to a path of crime and violence—of undesirable shortcuts. Often, such youth end up in the juvenile justice system, caught in a system which forever denies them a future. Understanding the causes of gang involvement is crucial for guiding youth towards positive role models and healthy support systems. In this webinar, presenter Kyle Lee, founder of Pasadena’s YES (Youth Empowerment and Strength), explains how his organization is working in gang prevention and intervention. He underscores the most common causes of gang involvement and discuss ways in which libraries can offer themselves as support systems for youth potentially involved with gangs.

Meeting the Needs of Those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

The Administration on Aging projects that in 2030, 72.1 million people 65 years or older will live in our country, more than twice the number in 2000. The Alzheimer’s Association also reports that more than five million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s disease, and that this number could boom as high as sixteen million in 2050. How does this growing demographic affect libraries, and what library services and programming can we provide to target this population? In this webinar, David J. Kelsey and Lynda Spraner of the St. Charles Public Library’s Outreach Services Team, share how they developed all original older adult programming with an emphasis on education, engagement, stimulating the senses, incorporating technology, and having fun. Their team presents more than twenty-five programs a month that reach over three hundred older adults. They discuss how to discover and develop ideas to better serve this growing demographic, no matter the library, community, or budget.

Preventing and Treating Compassion Fatigue with Self-Care

Library staff are tasked with providing more and more services for their communities despite continually shrinking budgets. Often overlooked, is the importance of self-care while doing this work, including the awareness of the effects of trauma and building resiliency. If you have you found yourself feeling drained, growing more irritable or less empathetic in your work you may be at-risk for compassion fatigue. In this session presenter Katie Scherrer discusses compassion fatigue, how to become aware of its symptoms and warning signs, and acknowledge workplace stressors in the library profession that can put us at-risk. We discuss the importance of creating space for self-care in our lives to prevent and/or heal from compassion fatigue, and explore steps for creating a personalized self-care plan. Mindfulness as a specific self-care strategy is explored, with several real-time mindfulness practices interspersed throughout the webinar.

Serving People Experiencing Homelessness at your Library

Homelessness and poverty greatly impact the overall health of communities. Libraries are often on the forefront of this challenge in multiple ways, from programs and resources, to providing connections, and partnerships. At the same time, library staff are struggling to be cognizant of the multiple needs of various patrons. Additionally, staff are looking for concrete suggestions on how to serve those who are experiencing homelessness and fulfill their specific information needs. In this webinar, presenter Julie Winkelstein, looks at examples of what other libraries are doing and offer concrete actions your library can take. She discusses barriers to service and top priority needs of library users who are experiencing homelessness.

Suicide Prevention: Basic Skills and Resources

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for all ages. There is one death by suicide every 12 minutes and approximately 123 Americans die by suicide every day. In this webinar, presenter Tana Teicheira, licensed clinical social worker specializing in trauma and suicide prevention, will assist you in understanding suicide statistics and data, reasons and risks related to suicide and strategic interventions and outcomes. She will provide practical skills in how to talk about suicide effectively, understand potential warning signs, ask relevant questions to assess suicide risks as well as access crisis and emergency services. Attendees will learn how and where to engage mental health support and care as well as create proactive prevention environments. to better serve this growing demographic, no matter the library, community, or budget.

Veterans and Mental Health: Understanding Common Struggles and Learning How to Provide Support

Veterans may experience a wide range of mental health conditions after their military service. Statistics show that 37% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who receive health care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) had a mental health diagnosis, with PTSD being the most common. The VHA reports that veterans are committing suicide at alarming rates: 22 veterans die by suicide every day. Although engaging in VHA mental health treatment has been linked to lower rates of suicide, utilization of mental health services is low. In 2010, only 28% of urban veterans and 22% of rural veterans participated in psychotherapy. Stigma around mental health is often cited as a barrier to seeking support and mental health treatment. In this webinar, presenter Laura Wiedeman, a clinical psychologist at the VA Northern California Health Care System, discusses common mental health struggles that veterans may endure and various ways to provide support. Learn how to help reduce stigma around veteran mental health and become aware of the resources available to veterans in their recovery.