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DC3 Library Celebrates Mental Health Awareness

Published March 29, 2023

The Dodge City Community College (DC3) Library is celebrating Mental Health Awareness with a host of related events scheduled throughout the month of April.

Up first, at 6 p.m., on April 13, is the April Science Café, which will be a presentation by Dr. Jennifer Bernatis, DC3 Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) and Biology, titled “Mental Health: It’s Not Just Your Mind.”

In her presentation, Bernatis will give an overview about what mental health is and also highlight the various types of common mental health issues. In addition, she said she will speak briefly about traditional treatments.

“I will then go into a longer exploration of the importance of physical activity and nutrition in the role of mental health,” Bernatis said. “We will do the normal trivia, and I may do a couple of interactive activities as well. The overall focus though is going to be on the role of nutrition and physical activity in mental health.”

Up next at 6:30 p.m., on April 14, the Library will show the Disney Pixar movie “Inside Out,” which follows the inner workings inside the mind of a young girl named Riley, who struggles to adapt to her family’s geographical relocation. With the help of five personified emotions—Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness—she eventually learns to navigate and accept her new city, house and school.

At 6 p.m., on April 18, the library will host “A Conversation About Suicide,” which will be presented by Paulina Duenas, DC3 Title V Outreach and Retention Assistant; Richard Falcon, Compass Behavioral Health Program Supervisor; and the DC3 I AM Club.

And at 6:30 p.m., on April 26, the library will host its monthly Read and CONQuer book discussion, which will highlight the book “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk.

This 2014 book, which has been published in 36 languages, describes van der Kolk’s research and experiences regarding how individuals are affected by traumatic stress—and how it effects the mind and body.

“I made the suggestion of “The Body Keeps the Score” to the committee, since I had recently finished reading the book,” Duenas said. “I told them how much it helped me understand myself and traumatic events I’ve lived through in deeper levels. This book provided me with a lot of insight and understanding on how trauma can biologically and physically affect you.”

Duenas, who spent more than a year working through “The Body Keeps the Score” herself, said she hopes that people who read it will discover a deeper understanding of themselves or a loved one who may be dealing with trauma—as well as receive some guidance and tools to cope with and recover from trauma.

“I think one of the most impactful things about this book is how the author uses his 30 years of experience working with trauma patients, as well as a scientific and a philosophical approach to help the reader understand the connection of the human brain, mind and body,” she said.

By Lance Ziesch
DC3 Assistant Director of Marketing and Community Relations