Article has no nextliveshere tags assigned

Article has no topics tags assigned

Article has no colleges tags assigned

Description is empty

Article has no audiences tags assigned

Article has no units tags assigned

Contacts are empty

These messages will display in edit mode only.

UC Clermont professor receives mental health award

Honor recognizes those committed to improving mental health outcomes

Meera Rastogi, professor of psychology at UC Clermont College, has received the Lucille Pederson Hardgrove Exemplary Educator Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The prestigious award, named after a UC faculty member dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with mental illness, is given to “…those in our community (Southwest Ohio) who have demonstrated extraordinary work and advocacy on behalf of people with mental illness and their families.” 

Rastogi has served on the faculty at UC Clermont for 10 years. In addition to teaching psychology, she has taken a particular interest in mental health and runs a weekly art therapy program at the Hope Community Center in Amelia. The center offers day programming for those focused on mental health and substance use recovery.

Rastogi’s art therapy program provides an outlet for Hope Community Center members — a recent project, for instance, had participants develop and visually express a metaphor for their own personal recovery journey through sculpture, painting or other artistic avenues. UC Clermont and UC Clifton psychology students accompany Rastogi and work with the members each week for class credit. Currently, she is working with the group to create handmade journals to give to patients released from Mercy Clermont’s Behavioral and Mental Health Inpatient Unit.

“A lot of students really love it and can relate to what the members talk about,” Rastogi said. “Some even stay for a whole year. It’s an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to the real world while making a difference in people’s lives.”

Rastogi said she was first drawn to psychology to better understand herself and the people around her. “As I started teaching, I could relate to a lot of the topics on a personal level,” she said. “I soon found learning about mental illness fascinating and heartbreaking. If people understood more about it, they could help themselves and others; it’s an underserved and often misunderstood area.”