COVID and mental health on tap for Community Conversation

Friday, March 12, 2021
Christina Wagner

All signs suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic may be on a downward spiral.

That’s wonderful news. But what is being left behind? There has been considerable discussion and investigation into the “long haulers,” those left with long-term physical effects of suffering COVID.

But what of our mental health? What is the health of our children, our families, our neighbors, our community? How have we been impacted and can we expect long-term, residual mental consequences.

The next Community Conversation on Tuesday, March 16 will address these issues. The featured speakers are Dr. Christina Wagner, president of Mental Health America of Putnam County; Karen Martoglio, executive director of MHAoPC; and Dr. Nicholas Heck, a licensed clinical psychologist and the director of behavioral health at Putnam County Hospital.

Karen Martoglio

These conversations are sponsored by the League of Women Voters, the Putnam County Public Library and the Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce.

All are invited to join via Zoom at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at

Wagner is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at DePauw University. She received her PhD from Purdue University in clinical rehabilitation psychology and a post-doc at Rush University Medical Center in psycho-social oncology. Her clinical and research areas of specialization include stress and health and psycho-oncology.

She has authored multiple publications related to coping with cancer among patients and their partners and has worked at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center providing support to their cancer patients. Recently, she has also been working on a limited basis for Putnam County Hospital as a staff psychologist, primarily providing psychological support to hospital employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Martoglio is the executive director of MHAoPC, an organization whose goals include educating and advocating about mental issues as well as collaborating with many other organizations to bring wellness to the county’s residents. As an affiliate of a national organization, MHAoPC has available a vast library of practical guides, tips, statistics and information, plus online mental health screenings.

Nicholas Heck

The main philosophy is B4Stage4, or rather identifying and addressing mental health conditions before reaching an emergency state. This also emphasizes reducing the stigma of addressing mental health conditions. Martoglio has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and honed customer service, technical and management skills in her previous work as a computer consultant and call center manager.

Heck graduated from Indiana University in 2006 and went on to earn his MA and PhD from the University of Montana. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in biobehavioral HIV intervention research at Brown University and was on the faculty at Marquette University for four years before moving back home to Indiana.

He is widely published with more than 40 articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. His research has been published in many of the top clinical psychology and substance abuse forums including Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.

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