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Alumni on the Front Lines | Jesse Harless

Mental health advocate Jesse Harless ‘16G offers opportunities and ideas for self-care during uncertain times.

Jesse Harless received his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Rivier in 2016. He is an advocate, author, and trainer whose work focuses on self-care and recovery. We asked him what the effects of social distancing, changes in routines, and isolation are having on mental health. “The biggest issue I’m noticing is depression,” Jesse told us. “People who I never heard talk about depression before, are suddenly reaching out for help. Fear is another big one. The current environment is bringing out people’s fears from the past as well as concern about their future.”

Jesse is helping people navigate challenges by offering free weekly highly experiential online workshops using the Zoom platform. “I have taken my in-person workshops, events, and training to the online space in order to help people amplify connection, elevate their strengths, practice gratitude, increase their inherent resilience, and create self-care routines. It’s been very exciting to see 30 or more people come together virtually to share stories of resilience.”

He is also encouraging individuals to seek help and find ways to connect with one another. “Don’t let fear and depression keep you from reaching out for help,” he advises. “Know that many people, even those who appear strong, are struggling and also seeking answers. Continue to stay open to new possibilities for connection whether it’s Zoom meetups, group meditations, or a virtual yoga class. Build your support team of at least 3-5 people you can connect with on a daily basis.” Thank you for helping those in need, Jesse.