Meet Jessica Zavala, manager of the Ohio Program for Campus Safety and Mental Health. She joined NEOMED nearly a year ago and has made the Department of Psychiatry her home ever since.
Tell us about yourself, Jessica!
JZ: I have a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in public administration. I originally started at NEOMED in a part-time role as an Opiate Project Coordinator.
I’ve worked at community behavioral health organizations here in Ohio as well as in Arizona. Youth and young adults have been my primary focus over the past few years.
Tell us more about the Ohio Program for Campus Safety and Mental Health.
JZ: The intent of the program is to provide knowledge and resources to Ohio college campuses, so they can reduce barriers for students who need services, such as counselling.
We’re really looking to take this program forward and continue encouraging a collaboration between campus and community stakeholders, to develop programs that prevent campus suicide and other violent acts. Really, we’re looking at the ultimate outcome of an improvement in the mental health and well-being of students, faculty and staff on campuses across Ohio.
What brought you back to Ohio?
JZ: Certainly not the weather! Family is what really brought me back from Arizona. I’m originally from this area, so it’s really like coming home.
Is it true that you’re bilingual?
JZ: It is! I speak Spanish fluently. I eventually want to travel to Spain, maybe even retire on the coast of Madrid.
I share a very small role at the Aultman Foundation/Aultman Hospital as a language access coordinator. I’ve being doing that for almost a year now, too.