Victor Chang: Practice mental wellness daily

Victor Chang is the director of counseling at Southern Oregon University as well as an adjunct instructor in the college's Psychology Department and Mental Health Counseling program. He is also a member of the Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition.

At SOU, Chang collaborates with staff and faculty on programs to increase student mental health, academic performance and retention.

Before joining SOU, he counseled children on a Navajo reservation and was the mental health coordinator at Kids Health Connection, a school-based health center program at La Clinica.

Chang is a licensed professional counselor and often is called on to give presentations on social-media ethics, suicide prevention, self-esteem and emotional intelligence. Tonight, the public is invited to hear him speak about anxiety and depression in teens from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Ashland High School library, 201 S. Mountain Avenue.

He has lived in Ashland for seven years, having moved here from Flagstaff, Ariz.

He received his bachelor's degree in ethics, social psychology and urban studies from the University of Minnesota.

He earned a master's in counseling from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

What fact gets your audience's attention? That the number of deaths by suicide has surpassed automobile-related deaths in the United States.

What will be the three major points you will tell your audience tonight? 1. Suicide risk should be taken seriously and it is preventable. 2. Depression and anxiety are prevalent and treatable. 3. Everyone has mental health and needs to learn and practice mental wellness daily.

What are your favorite aspects about Ashland? The small size and strong community, the wonderful parks, schools, restaurants, arts and access to the outdoors.

What do you like to do in Ashland during your time off? Play with my kids, trail run, dinner dates with my wife.

What do you still have on your to-do list? Trekking in the Himalayas, completing a triathlon or ultramarathon, earning a doctorate.

How can we learn more about you? I can always be reached at SOU's Student Health and Wellness Center, 541-552-6137.

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