Tuesday, May 11, 2010

5 questions with Erin Mason

Tomorrow ETD will share the stories of 4 adults with different types of chronic illness at DePaul's 6th Annual Chronic Illness Symposium, Chronic Illness and the Arts.  Please come out and see the show!  We will be in the DePaul Student Center in room 314 A + B.

In honor of tomorrow's show I want to introduce you to ETD family member Erin Mason, an assistant professor in the school counseling program at DePaul.

Five Questions With: Erin Mason
ETD collaborator since: 2009
1. What is your role with Erasing the Distance?

I'm honored to be a member of the Mental Health Advisory Board.

2. When you are not working with ETD, what might you be doing?
I am an Assistant Professor at DePaul University in the School Counseling program. I LOVE my job!

3. Can you share with us your favorite ETD moment?
 I've only been in Chicago for two years but during my 3rd quarter at DePaul I received info about an ETD event on our campus. With a professional background in mental health and a lifetime love of the arts, I was excited to see the production. I took a class of my school counseling students, talked with Brighid after the show and knew then that ETD was an organization with a mission I fully supported.

4. What do you think is a pressing mental health need in your community?
I spent 13 years as a Professional School Counselor in public middle schools so I always think in terms of this age group. For them there are so many pressing mental health needs and their issues seem to get more and more complex over time. 
Many of my current graduate students work or intern in Chicago Public Schools and through their work I stay current on the needs of school age children and adolescents. I would identify depression as a primary concern and believe it to be a contextual factor for so many resulting incidents of violence, aggression and suicide.
The mental health implications of terrorism, war, natural disasters, school shootings, media sensationalism, economic decline and unemployment make it a very fragile time to be growing up.

5. Can you tell us your favorite way to de-stress?
Long walks on Sunday exploring different parts of the Windy City!

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