Eco Lunch & Learn Event On Thursday

November 15, 2022

Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] and Bermuda College will be hosting an Eco Lunch & Learn series presentation on Thursday [Nov 17] from 1.00pm to 2.00pm.

A spokesperson said, “Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce and Bermuda College are very pleased to announce the second presentation of their Eco Lunch & Learn series for the fall session. The November 17th presentation will feature Latisha Lister-Burgess, Executive Director of the Employee Assistance Programme, who will share ways for managing stress and anxiety.

“In these stressful times, it is easy to get overwhelmed by stress and anxiety. We are often diligent about taking care of our physical health in times of stress but neglect our mental health. This presentation will discuss ways to prepare a mental health plan for managing stress and anxiety and will cover self-care strategies, coping skills and local resources for help.

BEST Eco Lunch & Learn Bermuda November 15, 2022

“Latisha Lister-Burgess joined the Employee Assistance Programme in 2012, becoming its Executive Director in August 2018. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree [Honours] in Family Relations from the University of Guelph and a Master of Family Therapy Degree from Drexel University. She is a Certified Family Therapist and is credentialed as a Clinical Fellow through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She is currently the only Certified Employee Assistance Professional [CEAP] in Bermuda, having received this certification in 2015.

“Throughout her training, Latisha has gained experience working with children, youth, adults, couples and parents in a variety of environments, including community mental health programmes, inpatient psychiatric units and residential settings.”

Amy Harvey, the Earth and Environmental Science lecturer at the Bermuda College, said, “A mental health wellness plan is imperative and should just be part of your daily self-care habits. The pandemic created a low grade depression in many people as you constantly had to make risk assessments of what was safe to do and with whom. It put pressure on friends and family as in many cases there were very different opinions on approaching the risks. Our cortisol levels were constantly peaked.

“I suffered from languishing where I just felt like I could not feel joy about the normal things that would normally trigger that feeling. I noticed this amongst my students too and have seen an increase in anxiety and depression since the start of Covid. Now those stress triggers are being set off by the fear of impacts of Climate Change especially within the younger generation. Many feel unhopeful as the future seems so bleak. There is a potential that my grandkids may never see a coral reef.

“That breaks my heart as the ocean is my happy place, both on top of it and under it. The thought that future generations will not get to enjoy that is unthinkable. The mental health pandemic is here. We can not ignore this. Please take time in your day to ask yourself, ‘Am I ok?’ Ask others too. You just never know how that simple phrase may help someone who you do not think is struggling and potentially drowning from being overwhelmed.”

Jennifer Flood, BEST Executive Officer, said, “Life presents challenges at the best of times. Many of those are within our control, we deal with them as best we can and move on. At this point however, on top on the usual stressors – work, family, finances, relationships, social media, health, there are some that are far more unusual and seemingly, though they do have a major impact on us, beyond our control.

“Ongoing Covid cases and long Covid, the rapidly increasing cost of food, a staggering 9% rise, according to the latest newspaper report, increase in cost of fuel, and then the global threat overshadowing everything – climate change. As we heard in an earlier ECO L&L the minimum Bermuda can expect is intensified weather systems, longer droughts, followed by heavier, less frequent rainfall, more intense hurricanes.

“We see other island nations with evacuation plans as their islands disappear under the waves. These can combine to create overwhelming anxiety – injurious to our health and general wellbeing. We appreciated more fully, following the Covid stay at home protocols, the need for open, quiet, natural spaces where we can reconnect with nature and find some relaxation. However, there are other important strategies to help and Ms Lister-Burgess, MFT, BSC[Hon], CEAP, with a wealth of experience in mental health work will be our guide to these in this Lunch & Learn.”

The spokesperson said, “Eco Lunch & Learn is a free presentation. The community are invited to attend on Thursday, November 17th between 1:00 and 2:00pm, either in person at The Bermuda College, Room G301, online on Facebook or on YouTube.

“Please join us for this free presentation. No registration is required. Simply join us on the day. The presentation is followed by a lively Q&A. If attending online, the audience is encouraged to submit their questions via the chat options on both YouTube and Facebook.”

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