Pandemic anxiety to be March 30 Science Cafe discussion topic online

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

Ali DeLizza, PhD, a clinical psychologist and director of wellness programming at UNMC, and Steven Wengel, MD, vice-chancellor for wellness at UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, will discuss how to deal with anxiety during and after the COVID-19 pandemic during the March 30 Science Cafe.  

The pair will discuss the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on mental health in America. In addition, Drs. DeLizza and Wengel will discuss practical ways to manage anxiety and stress caused not only by the pandemic, but also the uncertainty that accompanies the gradual reopening of the country.  

To ensure social distancing, the Science Café will be offered via Facebook Live and begin at 10 a.m.: https://www.facebook.com/ScienceCafeNE/. (Viewers do not need a Facebook account to view the livestream.)  

Dr. Wengel, who specializes in geriatric psychiatry, was chair for the department of psychiatry at UNMC from 2005 thru February 2018 when he was named to the vice-chancellor for wellness position. For the past three years, he has led the wellness division at the two schools, doing numerous presentations in the Omaha Metro and nationally. He was named in "Best Doctors in America" in 2010-2011. Mental illness is frightening to many patients, and his calm and friendly demeanor helps ease his patients’ fears. 

Dr. DeLizza, who relocated to Nebraska in 2018 from western Michigan, has a special interest in working with children and teens with anxiety and depression. In addition to anxiety and depression, Dr. DeLizza also has experience working with children and teens with ADHD and other behavior disorders. Dr. DeLizza's therapy interests also include obsessive compulsive disorder and working with LGBTQIA+ youth. 

Science Cafés involve a face-to-face conversation with an expert about current science topics. They are open to everyone (21 and older) and take place in casual settings like pubs and coffeehouses. Each meeting is organized around an interesting topic of conversation. The expert gives a brief presentation followed by a Q&A period.