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After five months of Therapy (Thursday), UHMP and viewers say it’s working

They gain valuable advice on when and how to seek, give help

In May 2021, UHMP introduced “Therapy Thursdays,” half-hour discussions with mental health experts and people with lived experience livestreamed on our Instagram account. Our students and interns have moderated conversations with a wide range of top-notch experts ranging from Washington, D.C.-area school psychologists, Cleveland, Ohio opioid recovery experts, and D.C.-area food equity experts.

In the shows, psychologists, psychiatrists or therapists and youth guests share their perspectives on the topics and how to alleviate stigma. Each discussion includes potential solutions to the issues.

Moderator Adrian Gibbons with Therapy Thursday guests Paul Moore, Orlando Howard and Lisa Fair.

Clockwise: moderator Adrian Gibbons with Therapy Thursday guests Paul Moore, Lisa Fair and Orlando Howard.

Along with spreading the news on these topics, our student/intern moderators gain on-camera experience as well as hands-on training for producing videos and live events. 

A summary of our most recent Therapy Thursday can be found here.

In July, we hosted weekly sessions, with former interns Pam Rentz and Davon Harris sharing the moderating duties:  

  1. Early in the month we focused on pandemic weight gain/loss and the impact of isolation and social media on body image, with guests Zamir Hunley and UHMP alum Antonio Hardy sharing their insight and personal struggles. 

  2. Next, we discussed how to support loved ones who have suicidal thoughts, with guest Anastasia Vlasova, creative director of This Is My Brave Teens, a teen-focused nonprofit dedicated to sharing the stories of people living with mental illness. Dr. Charlayne Hayling-Williams, president and co-founder of D.C.-based organization Community Wellness Ventures, emphasized the importance of quickly, but respectfully, responding to someone with suicidal ideation.

  3. Then, we talked plant-based diets and food equity with expert panelist Tambra Raye Stevenson, founding CEO of WANDA (Women Advancing Nutrition, Dietetics and Agriculture) and D.C. Food Policy Council member.

  4. Late in the month, Pam and guest Aqsa Siddique both opened up about their complicated history with antidepressants. Clinical psychologist Melissa Sporn spoke on medication’s role in mental health treatment.

As summer came to a close, and Davon and Pam headed back to school, we shifted to a monthly schedule for the discussions: 

  1. In August, Cleveland-based experts Lisa Fair, forensic coordinator at MetroHealth, and Orlando Howard, licensed chemical dependency counselor and peer recovery supporter with Thrive Behavioral Health, along with Rhode Island-based artist Paul Moore shared ways to support loved ones who use opioids and where to get Narcan so more lives can be saved. 

  2. In September, UHMP student Donovan McClain, a sophomore at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and member of Heartsmiles, led the conversation. School psychologists Dr. Claire Agard and Dr. James Ballard III and high school student Matthew Desvines talked about COVID-19’s impact on student mental health and what faculty can do to prioritize student wellness as schools reopened.

Our next livestream is October 28 at 7 p.m. EST, and we’re looking forward to our new Baruch College intern Yesenia Barrios moderating a conversation with people who have experienced domestic violence as well as professionals who counsel those who have dealt with violence at home. 

The full livestreams are available for viewing on our YouTube channel and our Instagram page.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram and tune in to our upcoming Therapy Thursday! Looking forward to seeing you there.


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