November 01, 2022

NAMI Ask the Expert: Enhancing Immunity to Build Resilience: An Innovative Preventative Health Program

Thursday, November 10, 2022, 4:00 p.m. ET

Join us for another Ask the Expert Webinar featuring guest speakers, Dr. Peggy Swarbrick, Associate Director of the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies, and author and Associate Director of the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy, Jessica A. Jonikas.

People with mental illness are more likely to contract viral illnesses, and once they get sick, are more affected than those without mental illness. During this webinar, our guest experts will share an innovative, preventive program that teaches how the immune system works and self-care and wellness skills that enhance immune health. Gain insights from real-life examples of this intervention and learn strategies that can improve immunity and resiliency for people with mental illness. As the season of colds, flus and other viruses’ approach, now is a great time to prioritize your health and wellness.

This session will be recorded and posted to our website several days after the webinar. All registrants for this webinar will automatically receive a link by email to view the recorded session once it is available. A typed transcription of the audio will also be available online within one week of the webinar.

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Our Experts


Peggy Swarbrick HeadshotPeggy Swarbrick, PhD, FAOTA
Peggy Swarbrick, PhD, FAOTA, is the Associate Director of the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies and a Research Professor in the Applied Department of Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. She has worked for 25 years at the Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey Wellness Institute Director. Over decades, she has developed and evolved a strengths-based eight-dimensional wellness model that is been used for various populations as a strength-based approach for whole health recovery and prevention. Dr. Swarbrick has made significant contributions to the body of literature in occupational therapy, nursing and community behavioral health care practice, focused on topics, such as the eight dimensions of wellness, wellness coaching, peer support, social determinants of health, financial wellness, employment and professional self-care. She has created self-care wellness programs for people in recovery, caregivers, families, youth and professionals, including training materials and intervention manuals. Dr. Swarbrick recently developed a program on wellness self-care and peer support models for health care professionals and educators to prevent burnout.


Jessica Jonikas HeadshotDr. Jessica A. Jonikas, MA
Jessica A. Jonikas, MA (she/her) is Associate Director of the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy, as well as a Research Specialist in Health Systems Research for the UIC Department of Psychiatry. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration and Center for Health Administration Studies. Ms. Jonikas is co-investigator or program director on federally-funded projects to promote wellness self-management, holistic health and self-determination for people in recovery, as well as evidence-based practices and research translation in public mental health settings. Ms. Jonikas is the senior author or co-author of research articles, book chapters, training guides and other educational resources on recovery-oriented models of care. For over 25 years, she has contributed to preparing and mentoring the mental health workforce.

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