COVID-19: Impact on Mental Health and Access to Social Services will feature Christian Decker, a psychotherapist in Dresden, Germany, and two representatives from a nonprofit serving immigrants in Paris, France: Fatiha Mlati and Alice Verdu. The free one-hour webinar starts at noon CDT on Wednesday, March 17, and is open to the public with advance registration 

These professionals will share what the pandemic has been like in their communities, and how it has affected the people they serve. Decker, a state-licensed psychotherapist, earned his degree in psychology at the Technical University of Dresden, which included a semester of research at Stanford University in California.  

Mlati is the director of Refugee Integration at France Terre d’Asile, a nonprofit in Paris that supports all migrants, especially refugees and asylum seekers. She earned a DEA (Degree of In-Depth Studies) at University of Picardie Jules Vernes in Epistemology, Human Theories, and Philosophy. Verdu works at the same agency as the manager of a program that provides two services: walk-in emergency services to unhoused immigrants and geographic mobility services to refugees seeking housing and employment outside of Paris. She is a graduate of Institut Supérieur Marseille La Cadenelle where she earned her degree in social work, specializing in family social economics.  

In addition to the international perspectives provided by the panel, Decker and Verdu are both familiar with Bloomington-Normal as well. Each attended Normal Community High School for a year as an exchange student (Decker, 2003– 2004 and Verdu 2009–2010).  

The format of the webinar will be a roundtable conversation with time for audience questions at the end. This event is part of the Illinois State University Spring 2021 International Seminar Series, COVID-19: International Perspectives, a collaboration between the Mennonite College of Nursing and the Office of International Studies and Programs. Faculty coordinators are Dean Dr. Judy Neubrander and Dr. Susana Calderon of the Mennonite College of Nursing.