Tiger Take-off




Panel discusses mental health at Campbellsville University chapel

From left, Dr. Ken Hollis, Dr. Dale Bertram, Dr. Scott Wigginton, Tony Watkins, Nick Bloodworth and Sarah Creason participate in a panel discussion on mental health at a recent Campbellsville University chapel. (Campbellsville University Photo by Leinner Corrales)

By Simon Baker, student news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY– Mental health.

An issue that affects all people, even Christians, and an issue where people should seek help, not isolation.

Campbellsville University’s chapel service March 15 featured a panel discussion on mental health.

Dr. Scott Wigginton, professor of pastoral ministries at Campbellsville University and associate director of Marriage and Family Therapy, led the panel discussion.

The panel also consisted of Dr. Ken Hollis and Dr. Dale Bertram, both professors of marriage and family therapy at the university’s Louisville Education Center; Tony Watkins, executive director of clinical education and counseling services at Campbellsville University; Nick Bloodworth, staff counselor at Campbellsville University; and Sarah Creason, marriage and family therapist associate in Campbellsville who was employed at Campbellsville University from 2010 to 2019.

Wigginton encouraged students, as the second half of the semester begins, to “take one thing away today” from the panel discussion.

The panel discussed isolating yourself and the dangers of not seeking help when needed.

Hollis said, “When we begin to struggle, we tend to isolate, which is the worst thing we can do. Isolation works against everything positive.”

Bloodworth also discussed the dangers of isolating yourself and linking it with the impact of community, spirituality and faith.

“Sense of community and spirituality gives you that sense of peace and purpose and in some sense, forgiveness, to be able to connect with everybody, to have good mental health,” he said.

Wigginton then discussed the different, unique, diverse backgrounds of students and how it relates to mental health.

“Somebody sitting here this morning may say to themselves, I come from a difficult background,” he said. “Is it possible for me to change, and how would I, when I don’t know exactly what I would need to change?”

 Watkins answered by saying, “That’s where therapy can be so helpful. We all have an attachment style that we’re given as a child, and you can see secure attachment and insecure styles lived out with children and adults.”

Wigginton then opened the conversation for discussion on obstacles to good mental health.

Creason discussed how college can be a time for new college students to let go of the expectations put on them and find God’s purpose and calling.

“Maybe there was a box that you were put in by your family, school, or even church,” she said, “so you come with that information that background saying, ‘This is who I am’ or ‘This is what my parents have always said.’

“But college is such a neat time to come and kind of shed those boundaries that maybe have been spoken into you and be open to what God has for you.”

The conversation transitioned to learning how to change, trusting God, and reasons why a person should consider going to therapy.

Hollis shared, “A person has to be willing to acknowledge they have an issue in their life that needs to change, and that’s a really good starting place. I pastored for 37 years and have been a therapist for nearly that long.

“I came out of an alcoholic family and so far everything that God’s done has been a surprise to me.”

Bertram shared, “Several years ago I had to have a shoulder repair surgery that I wouldn’t have had to have if I would have gotten help three years earlier, but I kept saying I could solider through this.”

Bertram said, “The earlier someone seeks treatment you know the better the resolution.”

There is no shame or stigma in reaching out and asking for help, Bertram explained.

Hollis said Christians, like all people, develop illnesses, get sick and struggle with mental health.

“When you’re struggling, the worst thing you do is isolate yourself. The best thing you do is to go to someone who is a professional.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with an enrollment of nearly 12,000 students. The university offers over 100 programs of study including doctoral, masters, bachelors, associate and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.