Mental Health and Interpersonal Violence: How Do They Connect?

April 14, 2022

This semester UNC-Chapel Hill is offering monthly virtual mental health seminars addressing the intersection of mental health with related topics such as faith, addition/substance use, intimate partner violence, and vulnerable populations.  

The third seminar, Mental Health and Interpersonal Violence: How Do They Connect?, was offered on Wednesday, April 20, from noon until 1:30 pm.  

The conversation was facilitated and framed by Dr. Christi Hurt, Chief of Staff to the Chancellor, and discussed by a panel of practitioner experts on the intersection between interpersonal violence and mental health.

Panelist Avery Cook

Avery Cook is a clinical social worker and the Interim Director of CAPS. Originally from North Carolina, she received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Davidson College and her Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) with a Concentration in Mental Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She enjoys working with students on a variety of issues including crisis work, adjustment, anxiety, depression, substance abuse as well as issues related to LGB clients, gender identity, and gender expression. In working with clients, Avery takes an eclectic approach, utilizing a variety of approaches based on what best meets the needs of the clients. Outside of CAPS, she enjoys being outside, either hiking or biking, reading, and time with family and friends.

Panelist Shelley Gist Kennedy

Shelley is a Violence Prevention Coordinator at UNC Chapel Hill. Shelley's professional background has been centered around gender equity and violence prevention in the higher education and nonprofit sectors. This includes previous work at the Carolina Women’s Center and Orange County Rape Crisis Center. Shelley is a Double Tar Heel, with a BS in Psychology and a Master of Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Panelist Holly Lovern

Holly joined Carolina as a GVSC in August 2016. She graduated from the University of Lynchburg (2014) with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and earned a Master’s of Education from the University of South Carolina (2016) in Higher Education and Student Affairs. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University. At UofSC, Holly provided confidential support and advocacy for members of the campus community impacted by gender-based violence and harassment. She also worked on prevention efforts and developed programming, outreach, and trainings on topics including healthy relationships and consent, supporting victims/survivors, and bystander intervention. Holly has student affairs experience in new student orientation, first-year experience, fraternity and sorority life, and academic coaching and advising, including in the community college system. 

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