Responding to questions involving topics on mental health is challenging even for the most experienced library worker. In Caring for the Mind, participants will learn how to effectively provide mental health information at their libraries. Participants will learn about the best electronic resources to consult as well as ways to improve their print collections. Best approaches for handling interactions with emotional patrons will also be discussed. Other topics covered include: bibliotherapy/graphic medicine; health programming; and youth health issues. This class will increase participants' skills for providing mental health information for care providers and the public.
Presenter Bio: Michael Balkenhol (MLIS, University of Pittsburgh ‘14) is the Health Programming Coordinator at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region. At NNLM MAR, Michael works with public libraries, K – 12 schools, and community-based organizations across New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. His instruction areas include health programming, mental health information resources, graphic medicine, and citizen/community science. Previously, as a children’s and teen librarian at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Michael focused on community engagement, programming, and outreach. During that time, some of his favorite programs and initiatives were developing a volunteer program, building a community garden, and providing outreach at local schools from preschool story time to book check out during high school lunch.