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NECC Hosts Mental Health Education Workshop

Submitted by on October 2, 2014 – 8:03 pm

A one night workshop titled Mental Health and “Recovery Through the Lens of Education”, designed to educate the community about mental health issues, will be held at Northern Essex Community College, Tuesday, Oct., 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus, 100 Elliott St.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be led by NECC professor Joanna Fortna, president of the Department of Mental Health Essex North Community Site Board.

“The purpose of this public event is to host a community conversation about mental health so that the community is better informed about mental health and has a better understanding of how to be of support to those who are recovering,” said Fortna.

Individuals, who have an interest in finding out more about how recovery works for those with a mental health diagnosis, are invited to attend. The emphasis of the evening will be on the effects of education for individuals who are recovering. 

Students, faculty and school staff, in public schools as well as the college would benefit from this event.  Anyone who has a family member or friend with a mental health diagnosis, or anyone in a profession that interacts with the public, such as the clergy, mental health providers or law enforcement would benefit from attending this workshop.

A panel discussion featuring Dr. Eileen Savage-Creedon, a clinical psychologist, in private practice who works as a consultant to local public schools; Dr. Carolyn Cohen, a psychology professor at NECC will speak from the perspective of the educator who educates students about mental health issues; and Cheryl Wilson, a disability services specialist for NECC’s Learning Accommodations Office who works directly with NECC students. In addition to the panel discussion there will be tables with information for anyone in attendance who is seeking help for themselves or for someone they know.

“This event and other community conversations scheduled throughout the state will educate others to see a diagnosis of a mental illness not as a static stigmatized label, but as a tool to get appropriate treatment,” says Fortna.

For more information contact Joanna Fortna at 978-556-3406 or

This event is co-sponsored by the Northeast Essex Affiliate and the Department of Mental Health Essex North Site Board.

With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 70 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growthMore than 7,400 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 6,700 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley.  Northern Essex is the only state college located in the lower Merrimack Valley Region of Massachusetts. For more information, visit the website at