Watch Vegas PBS bring together mental health experts, community leaders, and youth to discover tools and techniques for helping loved ones facing mental health challenges. Watch to learn more about this growing issue and find resources available to support the mental health of Nevada’s youth.
About the Host
Kipp Ortenburger, Vegas PBS Moderator
Kipp Ortenburger became the host of Nevada Week in 2019 & has been a part of the creative & development team since the show’s beginnings. Ortenburger has been part of the Vegas PBS team in various development & strategic roles for more than four years. He has worked in the nonprofit sector for various community-based organizations in similar roles for more than fifteen years. An All-American
in Track & Field, Ortenburger graduated from California State University in Fresno, with a BA in English. An avid learner & world traveler, Ortenburger has lived in Barcelona, Spain & visited countries in South & Central America, Europe, Asia, & more. Growing up in LA, Ortenburger developed a strong connection with PBS by watching shows that gave a voice to local community leaders & a platform for important discussions. In this same spirit, Ortenburger’s passion & commitment for balanced coverage of local issues, makes him the perfect moderator.
About the Panelists
Valerie Almirola, UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) student, and Teen Representative for Hope Means Nevada
Valerie Almirola is currently a freshman at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is majoring in Psychology & minoring in Sociology. Valerie has a strong passion for helping people improve their mental health & discover their purpose in life. Having previously struggled with mental health, Valerie now wants to spread the message that everyone has meaning & a reason for being alive. Despite the circumstances & despite the obstacles, there is always hope. She works with Hope Means Nevada to raise awareness on mental health issues threatening teenagers & to erase the stigma around the topic. Valerie wants to encourage leadership in the youth community in order to cultivate a culture of love & communion.
Reggie Burton, Founder/President The Avery Burton Foundation
Reggie Burton is founder of RB Group – Public Relations, an author & public speaker. He is founder & president of the Avery Burton Foundation, a non-profit 501c.3 dedicated to mental health outreach & advocacy. Mr. Burton is certified in Mental Health First Aid for adults assisting youth & adults. He speaks to schools, colleges & organizations about the dangers of depression. R. Avery Burton is author of the book, “This is Depression”, (Amazon) a personal story about losing a son to depression. Proceeds from the sale of his book go towards the Avery Burton Excellence in Academics & Athletics Scholarship. Mr. Burton has hosted sold-out book signing events in Henderson, NV, San Jose, CA & Torrance, CA, & his story has been featured in the San Jose Mercury News & on Fox TV’s Good Day LA. He lives in Henderson with his family. Visit thisisdepressionthebook.com, averyburtonfoundation.org or reggieburton.com for more information.
Richard Egan, Suicide Prevention Training & Outreach Facilitator, Nevada Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Public & Behavioral Health
Richard Egan is the Southern Nevada Suicide Prevention Training & Outreach Facilitator for Department of Health & Human Services. He brings to his position experience in administered leadership, supervision, & suicide prevention. Over 26 years in US Air Force Munitions Systems Technology Career Field, AMMO. Thirty-three years’ experience & certified in facilitating training objectives. Twenty-four years’ experience preventing suicides utilizing awareness, prevention, & intervention certifications. Two years’ experience facilitating training objectives to the public for Clark County Department of Family Services. Richard Egan has directly supported or deployed in support of operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM, OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, CORAL RELIEF, & NOBLE EAGLE.
Sheldon A. Jacobs, PsyD, LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) Vice-President-NAMI Southern Nevada
Sheldon Jacobs, PsyD, overcame adversity, challenges, and poor decisions, turning his life around—earning his BA from Ohio State University & a Masters & Doctorate in Marriage & Family Therapy from Alliant International University. He has worked extensively over the past 19 years with individuals experiencing difficulties with various life transitions, juvenile probationers, severely emotionally disturbed children within the child welfare system, chemical dependency populations, professional athletes, & individuals experiencing mild to severe mental health issues. He is a media consultant for local outlets & has taught psychology courses at institutions and served on several boards in the field. He went undercover as a homeless man for 48 hours to raise awareness for homelessness & mental health & wrote a memoir about it titled, “48: An experiential memoir on homelessness.” Visit drsheldonjacobs.com/ for more information.
The Well Beings Tour is a series of community-based outreach events hosted by local public media stations across the country to demystify and normalize mental health matters, address discrimination and stigma, and encourage compassion.