Editor’s note: “Dear Bernard” addresses mental-health issues, and is published in partnership with the Center for Community Counseling.

Have you ever wondered if you are mentally fit? How has the pandemic affected someone with a mental illness? Are men handling the crisis differently than women? How can I tell if my child is coping well?

 This week we launch a feature with expertise on how to cope – and not just about the pandemic. We will examine personal relationships and their attendant issues, pet therapy, and work challenges. We will explore fallout and trauma from the wildfires, and provide an overview of major mental-health conditions such as schizophrenia and narcissistic personality disorder. Plus we will answer the burning question, “Just what is ecotherapy?”

 Twice a month a guest columnist (or Bernard!) will answer readers’ questions and provide the most current information on mental-health topics.

Experts will include Patricia Hasbach, Ph.D., a private practitioner/owner of Northwest Ecotherapy in Eugene, and the Co-Director of the Ecopsychology Program at Lewis & Clark College; Jon Davies, Ph.D., Director of the McKenzie River Men’s Center, is a nationally recognized counseling psychologist who specializes in men’s health and violence prevention; Nasim Talabreza-May, MSW, MBA, clinical program manager with 20 years social work experience with children, teens and families; Deborah Saunders, M.Ed., a 30-year veteran of nonprofit management focusing on children, families and community; Jon Talabreza-May, MSW, LCSW, Ph.D., is assistant professor of social work at Pacific University. 

The Center for Community Counseling has provided counseling to Lane County residents for 42 years, focusing on low income, uninsured or underinsured adults. 

“Transforming Lives and Healing Relationships” is the mission of CCC and providing community education and outreach is part of that mission.

“Dear Bernard” will be published every other Thursday in The Chronicle. Send in questions, concerns and comments in confidence to [email protected]