Stigma Free Speaker Series

The  Psychology & Human Services club, along with Student Life & Activities, is hosting a Stigma Free Speaker Series. All events will be held in MAS 100 and will be available live on Zoom (registration is required). The presenters are Brookdale Community College Alumni, Students and a mental health professional!

WARNING: Mental Health Disclaimer: Please be advised that content of the presentations may at times be difficult for audience members due to the nature of the topics. Our goal is to discuss different topics such as trauma, self-harm, anxiety, and depression in a space that allows for awareness, enhances understanding and empathy, and ultimately chips away at stigma. Mental health resources will be made available for each presentation and mental health professionals will be in attendance to assist those with resources.

Yeimi Hernandez
October 6 @11:45amPicture of Yeimi Hernandez.

Yeimi Hernandez is a current student at Rutgers University where she is majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology. She is a proud alumna of Brookdale Community College! Ms. Hernandez has been advocating for the immigrant community since the age of 10. She is currently affiliated with LAN (Latino Action Network), Make the Road NJ, and LCNJ (Latino Coalition of NJ).

Mental Health in the immigrant community has often been a taboo subject.  During her college career, Yeimi learned that it is time to breakdown the barrier and start a conversation on mental health.  This is her opportunity to address the stigma.

Please join the Psychology and Human Services Club as we go past the surface and have a “Real Talk” about the challenges of Stigma.




Patrick Zavorskas
October 27 @ 11:45am

Picture of Patrick.

Patrick Zavorskas is a current Brookdale employee serving as the Social Media Coordinator and Research Assistant for the Caroline Huber Holistic Wellness Center. Being a Brookdale graduate, he feels honored to give back to the community and work with the people who have provided support in such a crucial time. He is currently in the process of revamping the ALLY Program at Brookdale and aims to create a safer and more inclusive environment on campus.

Being raised Catholic while gay can often create conflict when the environment itself is not supportive of your sexuality. For most of his young life, Zavorskas often felt quite unsure of the consequences that would come with coming out. The feeling of rejection and internalized fear caused underlying mental health and depression issues but also an opportunity to kickstart conversations around mental health.

The Psychology and Human Services Club got past the surface and had a “Real Talk” about the challenges of Stigma. View presentation HERE

Jay Mahoney
November 10 @ 11:45am Picture of Jah Mahoney

Jay Mahoney is a Pre-Social work major here at Brookdale Community College. Growing up in the foster care system was scary and lonely, and they had to figure out the tough lessons on their own. Unprepared for life in childhood brough forth many struggles for them in adulthood. These struggles showed form in drug abuse, absuive relationships, and unhealthy attachments to others.

Today, Jay shares their story to help others understand that a bad foster home doesn’t set the scene for a bad future. But it doesn’t equate to everything being perfect either, even after adoption. The mental health struggles athat come from being in the foster care system are far more complex than others realize, and it’s time we speak about that.

Please join the Psychology and Human Services Club as we go past the surface and have a “Real Talk” about the challenges of Stigma.

View presentationHERE


December 8 @ 11:45am

Join us in MAS 100 or

Click here to register for the live Zoom event.

The Stigma-Free Lecture Series is sponsored by Student Life & Activities. Student Life & Activities logo.