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Wellness Wednesday: The Art of Understanding (A Panel Discussion on Mental Health)

May 24th, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

In recognition of May as Mental Health Month, join us for an engaging discussion on Mental Health from a variety of perspectives, including an artist who uses her art to process her own struggles with mental health issues, a social worker who provides counseling services to those living with mental illness, and a community expert whose organization supports at-risk and older adults with wraparound support such as meals, housing, health, and social services. Moderated by Amy Abrams, a passionate community health advocate with extensive leadership experience in social work, care management, and health education, this panel promises to be an enlightening look into how we understand mental health issues, their impact on our well-being, and how to support those in our community who may be in need.

When: Wednesday, May 24th (Presentation 10-11 AM, Film screening 11:30 AM-2 PM)
Where: GHD Conference Center Auditorium (9001 Wakarusa St. La Mesa, CA 91942)


Moderator, Amy Abrams is the Chief Community Health Officer for the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) She holds a joint Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health from San Diego State University, and began her career in aging life care management, supporting people with chronic conditions and their caregivers. For seven years, she directed the education and community outreach programs for Alzheimer’s San Diego, serving as a key member of the nonprofit organization’s leadership team.

Annie Claflin is a lens-based artist whose work characterizes her struggle to maintain a consistent identity while battling mental health issues. She uses fragmented photographic emulsion lifts and distressed collages of her facial features to illustrate a primary symptom of her illness – body dysmorphia, an obsession with perceived physical flaws. By repeatedly deconstructing her face in her artwork, Claflin achieves a greater understanding of her illness, enabling her to heal. Claflin’s ultimate goal is to demystify and destigmatize mental illness through her artwork. Her work will be on display in the GHD’s Health & Wellness Library from April 1-June 2023.

Jennifer Sinnott is the Vice President of Health & Social Services at Serving Seniors and is responsible for the integration of social work, nursing, dental, and wellness services. She also provides clinical direction and supervision to program staff and supports the growth of programs and services through collaborative community partnerships in a community-based setting that emphasizes a “whole-person” care approach. Jennifer holds a Master of Social Work from Boston College and has worked with San Diego County’s Aging & Independence Services, as well as other organizations, to support seniors, disabled adults, and their families to connect to community-based services.

Susan Valoff has been a licensed clinical social worker for almost 25 years and is also a certified dementia practitioner working to help people age well, achieve optimal mental health, and live as independently as possible. She provides psychotherapy for adults and older adults who are navigating life transitions; living with mental and/or physical illness; or coping with the stressors of aging or caregiving. Susan received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work and her bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

Feature Film: Where the Crawdads Sing, PG-13, 2 hr 5 min

Wellness Wednesdays are unique GHD-sponsored programs that feature different health topics every month. Wellness Wednesdays are free and open to all community members. Registration is not required.


May 24th, 2023
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Grossmont Healthcare District’s Conference Center Auditorium
9001 Wakarusa St
La Mesa, 91942 United States
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