Learning in Your Living Room
McLean’s webinar series provides essential information in a challenging time
July 14, 2021
For months, staff from McLean’s Education Outreach team had been planning to start a regular webinar series. When the pandemic was recognized in the United States in March 2020, the team quickly mobilized to provide mental health information to the public six weeks earlier than originally scheduled.
The first webinar, presented in early April by Blaise Aguirre, MD, medical director of McLean’s 3East Continuum, focused on helping the helpers, addressing how health care workers can manage their mental health during the pandemic.
Scott J. O’Brien, director of Education Outreach and producer of the webinar series, said launching the series with Aguirre’s webinar provided great insight into the needs and interests of the audience.
“Blaise’s webinar continues to be one of our most popular webinars to date,” he noted. “We were ahead of the curve in that in April, no one was acknowledging the secondary crisis: the well-being of our health care workers. We were able to provide good information that was relevant and useful, and from there, our audience grew because people knew we were a reliable resource that was addressing in-the-moment topics.”
Soon, the team was producing webinars on additional topics, including taking steps to manage anxiety, establishing and sticking to routines, and coping with family stress during the crisis.
Also, condition-specific webinars offered guidance on how the pandemic might impact individuals with mental health challenges such as obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, or autism spectrum disorders. Other webinars were geared toward practitioners, such as “Helping Your Patients Face Their Fears With Exposure Therapy” or “Helping Clinicians Navigate OCD and Support Their Patients.”