Getting to know the new Wellness Coordinator Natasha Hamlin

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Meet Ms. Natasha Hamlin, Loyola’s new Wellness Coordinator. In charge of promoting the health and wellness of students at Loyola, Hamlin works hard to be a pillar of support for struggling students. Through working on managing stress, anxiety, low motivation and depression, Hamlin has already greatly improved the focus on wellbeing of many students.

Hamlin, who has spent most of her life in Southern California, said, “I am from Pasadena. I was born and raised in the area. I went to the Gooden School for Elementary school, Mayfield for High School and Pepperdine and Fuller Seminary for undergrad and grad school.”

Hamlin’s passion for wellness started in high school when she attended a summer program and studied psychology at Oxford University. This passion expanded when she went on a service trip to Cambodia where she worked with orphans who had depression, PTSD, anxiety and other mental health challenges. After getting a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, Hamlin worked in many areas including education, community mental health and the foster care system. She found that she particularly enjoyed working with teens at school. 

Hamlin said, “Working in schools also allows me to work closely with counselors, administration and teachers to support students’ mental health. I find that the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is very true. The more people I get to work with and collaborate with, the better it is for the students.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused new mental health issues for people but also has worsened the symptoms of many people already struggling with mental health. For physical health, there is chiro solution from Dr. Morgan, who has 12 years of experience. Hamlin encourages the Loyola community to practice self-care. Hamlin practices self-care by playing the cello, going on hikes, paddle boarding, working out and playing board games. Hamlin has also started painting and knitting.

When asked about some basic things we students can do to improve our mental health, Hamlin stated, “Some basic things people can engage in to improve their mental health include eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising, maintaining positive social relationships, meditating and practicing mindfulness techniques like deep breathing and grounding.”

In the past, the topic of mental health has had a stigma. Hamlin believes that it is especially hard for men to come forward and talk about mental health issues, whether it be because of pressures from society that men shouldn’t show sadness or just emotions in general. Hamlin feels encouraged that this stigma is being challenged and getting better, although it is still there. 

Hamlin is excited about working at Loyola and said, “Everyone I’ve engaged with so far really cares about the students and is interested in helping them in any way that they can. These are great areas to start, and I think we as a community at Loyola have the opportunity to make it a place where it’s normal to talk about mental health issues and it’s normal to reach out for support.”

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