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Building Stress Resilience and Hope for Our New Era

Presented by Elissa Epel, Ph.D., M.S., M.Phil.

Presenter Bio

Elissa Epel, Ph.D, is a Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Psychiatry, at University of California, San Francisco. She is the Director of the Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center (, Associate Director of the Center for Health and Community and the NIDDK UCSF NORC, member of the National Academy of Medicine, President of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and Co-Chair of the Mind and Life Institute Steering Council. She studies psychological, social, and behavioral processes related to chronic psychological stress that accelerate biological aging, with a focus on overeating and metabolism, and the telomere/telomerase maintenance system. She has focused on women’s mental and physical health and their interconnections. She and her colleagues develop and test interventions that combine behavioral, psychological, and mindfulness training. Currently, she is testing short term interventions to improve stress resilience and physiological homeostatic capacity, to slow aging. She co-leads studies funded by NIA, NCCIH, NIMH, and NHLBI, including a national Stress Network, and Emotional Well Being network, and has been involved in National Institute Health initiatives on reversibility of early life adversity, and Science of Behavior Change.

Epel studied psychology and psychobiology at Stanford University, and clinical and health psychology at Yale University. She completed a clinical internship at the Palo Alto Veterans Healthcare System and an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF. Epel has received several awards including the APA Early Career Award, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research Neal Miller Young Investigator Award, and the 2017 Silver Innovator Award from the Alliance for Aging Research. Epel has co-written a book for the public with Elizabeth Blackburn, The Telomere Effect (2017), a NYT bestseller. Her work has been featured in venues such as TEDMED, NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Morning Show, 60 minutes, National Public Radio, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Wisdom 2.0, Health 2.0, and in many science documentaries. In addition to doing research, she enjoys leading meditation retreats with her colleagues.

During the pandemic, Epel led the creation of expert written web-based resources for psychological first aid for front line providers, and COVID-related stressors such as substance abuse, addiction, and parenting stress, at

We live in remarkable times. In light of overlapping global stressors such as the pandemic and climate crisis, it takes more effort to help maintain emotional well-being. This is true for mental health care providers, as they both have personal work-life balance challenges as well as risk of work burn out and experiencing vicarious traumas. We will discuss the science and practice for mindfulness-based skills, self-care skills for both relaxation and hormetic stress, as well as the importance of maintaining daily purpose in the face of existential threats.

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Define three aspects of burnout and both personal and workplace strategies to prevent burnout
  2. Describe how practicing mindfulness skills can promote stress resilience
  3. Distinguish how we can promote psychological resilience through psychological strategies vs. body-based strategies, such as hormetic stress, and how they each may work
  4. Distinguish between climate distress (eco-anxiety) and clinical depression, and how we can help and treat climate distress

Instructional Level


Licensed mental health professionals employed through Kaiser Permanente and psychological assistants performing under supervision of a licensed psychologist.

This CE program is free to Kaiser Permanente employees.

Instructional Methodology

On-line Presentation

Continuing Education Information

Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists. The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Refund and Attendance Policy

All programs offered on KP Learn for CE credit through the KP Northern California Mental Health Training website are free of charge to Kaiser Permanente Staff and trainees. Once a course is selected in the KP NCAL MH Training Website, the registration process begins, and it will appear in the individuals KP Learn profile for completion within 90 days.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Those who attend the program in full and complete the appropriate evaluation form will receive CE credits. Please note that credit will only be granted to those who attend the entire program. An attestation of attendance will be given once the individual has completed viewing the program, which will then initiate the final steps of completing the evaluation forms to receive a certificate of completion.

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