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COVID-19 & Mental Health: Final Reflection

Written by Bruce Cruser

Bruce Cruser has been Executive Director of Mental Health Virginia since 2016, bringing a background in social work and community corrections, and many years of leadership experience in local and state government.

July 24, 2020

As my internship with Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV) comes to a close for the summer, I have done extensive reflection on my experience in writing this blog. With my original plans to conduct psychology research with a professor this summer and to study abroad in Prague in the fall derailed, interning here this summer has been such a positive experience. I am so fortunate to MHAV for offering me the opportunities to write these posts, learn more about mental health policy and legislation, and understand the inner-workings of a statewide nonprofit organization. Thank you to Bruce, Cheryl, Danielle, Jenny, Eddie, and Kristen for all of your guidance and insight throughout this experience!

The COVID-19 pandemic has been anything but an easy time for anyone – financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Because this blog and organization as a whole focuses predominantly on mental health, I want to emphasize the MHAV mission: mental health is a part of everyone’s overall health. That being said, COVID-19 has put strains of all sorts on families and individuals around the world, and mental health certainly connects to all facets of one’s wellbeing. I implore you to consider the subtopics I have explored throughout the course of the summer and how each unique population is impacted by both COVID-19 and mental health care disparities.

Before I conclude my internship with MHAV and post my final words to the blog, I want to include quick links & resources I’ve compiled throughout the summer. I have collected all the resources from these blog posts into one master document that can be viewed & distributed easily. I will also include quick links to my previous posts and other work I have produced over the last few months regarding mental health advocacy. Please feel free to share these with anyone in need of resources or to reach out to me at if you have questions, comments, or concerns. I am always available to chat and always open to new, meaningful opportunities.

  1. Mental Health Blog Master Resource List
  2. Quick Links to Blog Posts by Me
  3. “OPINION: Stop Denying the Connection Between Single Motherhood and Poverty” published in Style Weekly (June 2020)
  4. “Mental Health Care in the United States” Capstone Project for Leadership Studies Course (Spring 2020)
  5. Richmond, VA Black Lives Matter & LGBTQ+ Resource List
  6. Boston, MA Black Lives Matter & LGBTQ+ Resource List

Thank you for providing me with this platform to advocate for mental health and push for meaningful change in the Virginia community. Again, I am so grateful for the skills I have gained and the connections I have made through MHAV.

All the best,

Anna Marston, Intern

Mental Health America of Virginia

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