Library Hosting Ask the Doc Forum on COVID, Series of Mental Health Workshops

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The Watertown Free Public Library will host a virtual town hall where residents can ask doctors their questions about COVID-19 on Wednesday, and Thursday, the library hosts the first of a series of online mental health workshops.

The library sent out the following announcements:

Library to Host Free COVID-19 Forum With Top Doctors

With so much conflicting talk of vaccines and variants, navigating the COVID-19 pandemic can feel just as confusing today as it did one year ago.

In an effort to provide reliable information to their communities, the Watertown Free Public Library and the Providence Public Library are teaming up to offer a “COVID-19 Town Hall” on Wednesday, March 24. During this free, virtual forum, Dr. Robin Schoenthaler of Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Philip A. Chan of Brown University will answer your submitted questions about the virus, vaccines, and public health. Spanish translation will be available.

“We know that people are struggling to keep up with the latest health guidance, especially with so much misinformation on the internet and vaccination plans that seem to change daily,” says WFPL Reference Librarian Steph Frueh. “Sometimes, you just need a trusted professional to help you break down the falsehoods and translate the scientific jargon.”

Dr. Robin Schoenthaler is a board-certified radiation oncologist for Massachusetts General Hospital. Still, she has come to be known by the moniker “the-Boston-cancer-doctor-who-writes-about-COVID”. Since March 2020 she has become a “COVID-translator,” with a weekly column on COVID reaching a national lay audience.

Dr. Philip Chan is an Associate Professor for Warren Alpert Medical School and School of Public Health at Brown. He is also an Attending Physician at The Miriam Hospital Immunology Center and Consultant Medical Director for the Rhode Island Department of Health Division of Preparedness, Response, Infectious Disease and EMS.

Questions for Dr. Schoenthaler and Dr. Chan should be submitted in advance through the Library’s website. If you need information now, or can’t make the event, WFPL librarians can help you find answers from trusted sources or medical professionals.

“Ask the Docs: a COVID-19 Town Hall” begins at 7 PM on Wednesday, March 24. Submit your questions and register here:

Stressed? Sad? Exhausted? Join Virtual Mental Health Workshops With the Watertown Free Public Library

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on us all. After a trying year, the Watertown Free Public Library, in collaboration with Wayside Youth and Family Services and the Watertown Police Department, is offering a series of virtual mental health workshops, free and open to all. If you are struggling and don’t know where to turn, or if you are simply curious about what resources are available in Watertown, these programs are for you.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has ratcheted up all the normal stressors in our lives, and together we are learning how to cope with trauma and build resilience moving forward with a new normal” says WFPL Reference Librarian Emily Levine. “We just want people to know that they are not alone, and that free mental health support is available in our community.”

WFPL, Wayside, and the Police Department will co-host five workshops this spring. Programs are made possible with support of the Watertown Community Foundation.

Coping with Grief

Thursday, 3/25 | 6:30 PM | via Zoom

Join local therapist Liz Brenner for an hour long session to discuss grief. She will talk about what grief is, how it manifests, and coping strategies.

Question, Persuade, Refer Training: A Suicide Awareness and Prevention Workshop

Wednesday, 4/7 | 6:30 PM | via Zoom

The QPR mission is to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. Space is limited, please sign up early.

Family Strategies: Stress, Isolation, Coping, and More

Thursday, 4/22 | 6:30 PM | via Zoom

Join local therapist Liz Brenner for an hour-long session to help parents discuss what is challenging in the current parenting environment, and provide resources for current family stressors.

Mental Health First Aid Training: for adults interfacing with adults

Saturday, 5/8 | 9 AM – 5 PM with break | via Zoom

Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This training will give you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

Mental Health First Aid Training: for adults interfacing with youth

Saturday, 5/22 | 9 AM – 3 PM with break | via Zoom

Register for workshops on the Library’s website:

About WFPL

The Watertown Free Public Library provides access to a wide variety of popular materials, resources, services, and programs that fulfill the informational, cultural, and recreational needs of Watertown and surrounding communities. Our Library works to create an environment that attracts and welcomes users of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit

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