Mental Health Matters: Panel Discussion (April 11)


In connection to the OurSELF exhibit, the Everhart Museum will present a panel on mental health and suicide awareness on Thursday, April 11th at 6:00pm. The event is FREE and open to the public.

The panel will feature prominent members of the community who are advocates of mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and national overall suicide rates have been increasing in recent years; alarmingly, rates rose 28% between 1999 and 2016. By addressing this critical situation, the panel aims to increase awareness of the importance of mental health, the life-saving choice to get help, and accessible resources for those who need them. The Everhart Museum’s OurSELF exhibit also emphasizes these ideas with an engaging and introspective art installation, which aspires to open conversations about mental health and encourage empathy.

Moderator of the panel is Joe Dombroski. Joe is a patrolman and team leader for the hostage crisis negotiation team for the Scranton Police Department. Mr. Dombroski is a family survivor. Prior to his loss, it was always a passion to help persons’ in crisis, through his work as a police officer. He was one of the first trained officers in CIT, in Lackawanna County and took his experience to train and teach other officers in NEPA. There are currently 50 officers trained in the Scranton Police Department.

Panelists for the evening include:
Judy Copeland, Senior Counselor Advocate
Women’s Resource Center

Vanessa White Fernandes, Lead Presenter with the Lou Ruspi Jr. Foundation and Licensed Professional Counselor with 35 years of experience

Ed Shoener, Board Member of the Katie Foundation
and Deacon with St. Peter’s Cathedral

Mary Turek, Mental Health Professional for
School-Based Behavioral Health

Scranton Counseling Center

Kelly Worozbyt, Instructor of Nursing, Penn State Scranton and
Certified Psychiatric Mental Health  Professional with Geisinger CMC