Annual 'Stamp Out Stigma' event to highlight grief and loss

Keynote to discuss grieving the loss of ‘normal’ in the era of COVID-19

SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Shenango’s seventh annual Stamp Out Stigma event will feature the keynote “Real Talk: Good Grief in the COVID Era” by Susan Tarasevich of UPMC’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. The virtual talk on Oct. 14 will discuss grief and loss, and the importance of caring for one’s mental health.

“So many of us have experienced losses this year: loss of employment, loss of connections, loss of ‘normal,’” explains Tony Paglia, personal counselor at the Shenango campus. “Grief and loss does not just occur when someone close to us dies; we can experience it in the midst of any kind of change, and, this year, COVID-19 has required us to change and adapt so many aspects of our lives.”

Tarasevich, a clinical team training director in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will talk about common responses to the experience of loss, the brain science behind grief, how to know when it’s time to seek help in processing one’s grief and how best to support others in their journeys with grief.

Stamp Out Stigma was founded in 2014 by Jack Luchette, a Penn State Shenango human development and family studies alumnus, to highlight resources, awareness and personal stories about mental health to our community.

“The event has been embraced as an opportunity to discuss sensitive and important mental health topics like depression, trauma, addiction and suicide,” said Paglia. “We hope that this program will give individuals an opportunity to consider how change can lead to grief, and also that resources are available to help individuals process grief of all kinds.”

The event will be streamed via Zoom at 12:15 p.m. on Oct. 14, and the community is invited to attend. The Zoom webinar ID is 940 7197 7674, and the passcode is 511831. This program is free and registration is not required.