As we age, the health of hearts and minds are on the line – so Susi Q has advice online to help 

Have you ever felt palpitations and wondered if the sensation was normal, perhaps an emotional reaction or simply the heart having “a moment,” or instead worried that you’re experiencing the first signs of a serious problem? Then dismissed the idea of going to the doctor, not wanting to fuss?

Similarly, have you ever felt so depressed or anxious that you felt like staying in bed and not venturing out of your house, not even motivated to make a phone call? But told yourself to buck up, that you needed to “get a life” and stop obsessing about your problems?

In either case, it’s time to learn more about the workings of our hearts and brains, and the way they react to physical as well as psychological stimuli. What is healthy and what is not healthy? That, indeed, is the question.

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Submitted photo

Susi Q fan Penny Poorman bikes to keep her heart healthy

Two free online programs offered by the Susi Q will help you sort out ways to combat preconceptions about these two vital organs and learn strategies to keep you healthy and (hopefully) wise, if not necessarily wealthy…They are “Ask The Doc: Put Your Heart First and Mental Health Matters.” 

Who knows, they could even save your life or the life of someone close to you.

“We’re thrilled that Kevin Schachter, MD, Hoag Medical Group, will be presenting a talk and Q&A about heart health online through our ‘Susi Q Without Walls’ Zoom outreach,” said Nadia Babayi, executive director of the Susi Q senior and community center in downtown Laguna. 

“Accessibility to doctors can often be a challenge, and this program helps by providing immediate, first-hand information to participants, as well answers to common questions.”

The session, “Ask The Doc: Put Your Heart First” will be available on Zoom on Monday, May 23 from 3-4 p.m. Dr. Schachter will discuss ways to keep your cholesterol and blood pressure at healthy levels and describe symptoms that indicate problems – and address participants’ concerns.

With heart disease the leading cause of death for both men and women, your life could depend on signing up for this program. 

Click on classes and registration at to receive the Zoom link, or to sign up by phone, call 949.715.8105.

Are those blues or anxieties you’re experiencing these days “normal?” Whether so-called “normal” or excessive, we can all benefit from support when our emotions feel overwhelming. Too often, though, people don’t know where to turn, what programs might be available to them, or how to access that help.

Kay Wenger, MA, LMFT, LPCC, Susi Q’s Behavioral Health Clinical supervisor and Martha Hernandez, director of Care Management, to the rescue. Both are firm believers in the power of counseling to help people get through difficult times and reset their mental compass.

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Photo by Carl Brown

Sandy Weiss, a frequent participant in Susi Q programs, practices yoga for her mental and physical health

Wenger and Hernandez will be presenting a free one-hour Zoom offering, “Mental Health Matters,” during which they will answer questions and provide information on the many support groups that are available at the Susi Q, as well as options for individual counseling. 

“Support groups at Susi Q include Women Supporting Women, Men Supporting Men, Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregivers’ Support Group, and Heart to Heart, all of which address emotional issues and provide practical advice,” said Sanger. “Or simply call Susi Q at 949.715.8105 to learn about additional community resources.”

“Mental Health Matters” takes place on Thursday, May 26, from 12-1 p.m. 

If you know anyone who could benefit by participating in “Mental Health Matters,” please share this information. With Zoom, it is possible to take part without being visible on the screen, allowing for anonymity for those who prefer this option.

Click on classes and registration at to receive the Zoom link for “Mental Health Matters,” or to sign up by phone by calling 949.715.8105.