Adult Learning, Socials & Be Well Webinars

Join us for our popular Be Well webinar series, interviewing industry experts in mindfulness and mental wellness, along with other virtual hangouts like book and movie clubs, online socials, and more activities geared for adults and seniors!

Be Well Webinars

Be Well WebinarsJoin us every week for a short Q&A webinar with industry experts on mindfulness.

Learn how to focus on the present, and receive guidance on how to live a vibrant, fulfilling life relevant to our times.

With over 30 years of experience in mental health and mindfulness, Jonathon Collopy, Ph.D., and executive director of the Ryan Family YMCA, will moderate discussions on how to cultivate calm and build resilience in ourselves.

Registration is free.

Archive of Past Be Well Webinars

Check out recorded videos of our previous Be Well webinars, as we explore mindfulness and learn useful techniques to reduce stress and increase wellness.

From Parent to Teacher: Distance Learning Success!

Video coming soon.

Special Guest: Winward Academy and Blue Shield Promise
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — September 17, 2020

Join us as we bring together a panel of experts to offer support, guidance, tips and tools to not just survive but thrive during distance learning. Learn tips to keep your children engaged and excited to learn as we discuss ways to improve distance learning and the impact of the pandemic on school aged youth. Let our expert panel empower your child to be successful in this new learning environment.

Spreading Kindness

Special Guest: Tom Tait
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — September 10, 2020

Learn what inspired Tom Tait, former Anaheim Mayor, to pursue a position in office and how he built his candidacy platform on spreading kindness. See how you can get involved in the movement that has developed the "City of Kindness," and included work with Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga.

Have A Laugh!

Special Guest: Bob Alper
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — September 3, 2020

Humor is essential right now as laughter makes us feel better, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Join us we talk with professional comedian Bob Alper, who has been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN and more.

Cooking the Rainbow

Special Guest: Chef Bai
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — August 27, 2020

Join Chef Bai for a healthy, nutritious cooking demonstration, with tips and recipes to incorporate into your meal planning. Chef Bai is passionate about creating a lasting impact while changing the core of the relationship we all have with food. Her team believes that everyone deserves to feel their best, and are here to help you figure out how to do that.

Music and Healing

Special Guest: Armando Cepeda, executive producer at Encore Event Entertainment
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — August 20, 2020

Our conversation with Armando Cepeda, will explore the relationship between music and health. Music is an elixir for the soul, so join us to learn about how it affects our minds and well-being.

The Real Life Forrest Gump

Special Guest: Brady Silverwood
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — August 4, 2020

Join us for a conversation with Brady Silverwood, the real-life Forrest Gump, to understand what prompted this inspiring endeavor, the lessons learned along the way and what this 24 year old plans to tackle next.

Cultivating Inner Peace During Outer Chaos

Special Guest: Emily Silva Hockstra
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — July 28, 2020

Emily Silva Hockstra quit her corporate job in 2014 to pursue her dreams of becoming an author and starting her own business. She launched a coaching company which specializes in helping women harness their bravery to bring their gifts into the world. She helps her clients with career changes, starting their own businesses and cultivating their spiritual lives. She lives with her husband in San Diego when they aren't traveling to create their next soul adventure.

BE WELL - RISE! San Diego

Special Guest: Salina Villegas
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — July 21, 2020

Often, we know what change needs to happen throughout our city but struggle addressing it. Join our conversation with Salina Villegas from RISE! San Diego on how to shift the mindset and get engaged.

Art, The Precious Present

Special Guest: David Cummings, Ph.D.
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — July 14, 2020

Viewing and experiencing art offers the opportunity to be present, tap into the senses, and touch into a form of mindfulness. Join David Cummings, Ph.D., in an immersive event that provides stress reduction and appreciation for what is now.

Mindfulness Travels: This Summers Vacation

Special Guest: Larry Cammarata, Ph.D.
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — July 7, 2020

Join us on a summer holiday retreat as Larry Cammarata, Ph.D. guides us in cultivating present-centered awareness, kindness, compassion, and joy for yourself and the greater good of others. Mindfulness Travels provides educational retreats to inspiring, beautiful places throughout the world with leaders in the field of mindfulness and mindful movement.

Eliminate Racial Discrimination

Special Guest: Francine Maxwell, President, NAACP San Diego
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — June 30, 2020

Join us as we discuss racial tension in today's society with Francine Maxwell, President of the NAACP San Diego. The NAACP seeks enactment and enforcement of laws to secure civil rights. Through informing the public of the effects of racial discrimination, they seek its elimination. Educating individuals of their constitutional rights is vital to enacting them. Listen, learn and be involved in “eliminating racial discrimination” to help create a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.

Meditation and Mindfulness from the Kadampa Buddhist Perspective

Special Guest: Gen Kelsang Lhadron, resident teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center San Diego and Buddhist nun
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — June23, 2020

Gen Kelsang Lhadron, resident teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center San Diego and Buddhist nun, is defining mindfulness versus meditation, the energetic experience of bringing Buddha into practice, and what bringing practice into daily activities could look like.

Leadership In Times of Stress and Change

Special Guest: Mark J. Tager, MD, CEO, ChangeWell Ph.D.
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — June 16, 2020

During these unprecedented times, leaders can bring out the best in people in the wake of change. Dr. Mark Tager will provide an overview of the key skills that keep people healthy, focused and productive. Whether you are a CEO, a manager or supervisor, a community influencer or a parent guiding your children, this webinar will help you find the skills to make your efforts more positive and effective.

Stand Together Against Hate

Special Guest: Christopher Tenorio, Chairperson, San Diego Regional Hate Crime Coalition
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — June 9, 2020

Now more than ever, there is a need to come together and take a stand against hate. Through dialogue, outreach and education we can prevent hate in our community. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” This is the guiding principle of SD Regional Hate Crimes Coalition and we invite you to join our conversation focused on unity during these challenging times.

When You Are Called Upon…Seize the Opportunity

Special Guest: Trevor Hoffman, Hall of Fame MLB Pitcher
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — June 2, 2020

A conversation with our Hall of Fame Closer, Trevor Hoffman of the San Diego Padres, exploring being prepared for when you are called upon, to perform at your highest level. How Trevor has developed his body, mind and spirit for professional and personal achievement. Being in the moment, and managing high pressure situations. Skills and abilities from Trevor’s professional life that translate to our lives today.

A Clear Voice on Mental Health: De-stigmatize and De-mystify Mental Illness

Special Guest: Suzette Southfox, director of education, National Alliance on Mental Illness
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — May 26, 2020

Our conversation with NAMI, will provide education about mental illness with the goal of dispelling ignorance and stigma for those with mental illness, their families and our community. Let’s learn about what is available to us for education and support, as well as how we can advocate for more research and an improved system of mental health services across the country.

The Healing Power of Relationships

Special Guests: Krysta Esquivel and Kristina Halmai
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — May 19, 2020

Join our YMCA experts in a conversation about how connections with others can decrease stress and increase positive coping skills. Krysta Esquivel, M.S.W., executive director of YMCA Youth and Family Services, and Kristina Halmai, LMFT, YMCA Clinical Innovation, share techniques to help us function in a healthier manner, both mentally and emotionally.

Anxiety Rescue: Techniques for Emotional First Aid

Special Guests: Leslie Fadem
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — May 12, 2020

With tremendous change, transition and unknowns in our lives, psychotherapist Leslie Fadem helps us gain insight and information to develop self-help, as well as skills and tools to support our loved ones, family and friends.

Brain XP: Teen Mental Health

Video Coming Soon

Special Guest: Christine Frey — Creator of the “Brain XP” Project and author of “Brain XP: Living with Mental Illness, A Young Teenager’s Perspective”
Moderated by Dr. Jonathon Collopy — May 5, 2020

We invite parents and teens to join us for a conversation on teen mental health, with special guest Christine Frey. The discussion will provide a better understanding of the mental health journey and experiences of young adults. We will explore topics ranging from bullying and social isolation to identifying anxiety and depression. Learn how to identify the signs, how to help and ways to speak with your teen regarding mental illness. Visit for resources on teen mental health or information on Christine Frey.

How to Show Up to Uncertainty

Special Guest: Jessica Zemple — Life coach and founder of Life Schucker
Moderated by Jonathon Collopy — April 28, 2020

Join us as we speak to Jessica Zemple, life coach and founder of Life Shucker, to acknowledge these uncertain times, its impact on us, and how best to "show up." Jessica will help us explore practical tools to meet uncertainty, find grounding, feel more empowered and discover the pearls hidden in these uncharted waters. Visit for more information.

Mindfulness 101

Special Guest: Peter Kirchmer — mPEAK program director, Center for Mindfulness, UCSD School of Medicine
Moderated by Jonathon Collopy — April 23, 2020

Join Pete Kirchmer, director of mPEAK Program at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, as we explore proven practices for self-care, stress reduction, and achieving both personal and professional goals. Visit for more information.

The Plant Remedy: How To Be Mindful About Food


Special Guest: Bailey Ruskus — Le Cordon Bleu trained chef and certified integrative nutrition coach
Moderated by Jonathon Collopy — April 21, 2020

Join Bailey Ruskus, aka "Chef Bai," as she talks about the top five things to do in your kitchen to support your immune system, effortlessly build flavor with ease, and take control of your health through mindful food choices. Visit for more information.

Keep Your Eye On The Ball! Inspiration During Challenging Times


Special Guest: Dave Roberts — Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers
Moderated by Jonathon Collopy — April 16, 2020

Managing the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the world’s most iconic professional sports teams, comes with a lot of pressure. Dave Roberts shares his insights on how to successfully mediate life’s stressors, recognize what is most important and find inspiration.

Psychological Resilience During Uncertainty


Special Guest: Sara Gilman — Psy.D, LMFT, founder of Coherence Associates
Moderated by Jonathon Collopy — April 14, 2020

Psychological resilience helps us cope with stress, which is incredibly important now. Sara Gilman will help us understand psychological resilience and how we can strengthen it. Learn simple tools to bring equilibrium to your mind and body for daily stress management.

Visit for more information on psychological resilience or Sara Gilman.

The Power of Positive Attitude


Special Guest: Dr. Lee Rice — founder of the Lifewellness Institute
Moderated by Jonathon Collopy — April 9, 2020

The lens we use to encounter life has an impact on our physical, mental and emotional health. By training our minds to focus on positivity, we can dramatically improve how we react to life. Learn to enhance your positivity from Dr. Lee Rice, founder of Lifewellness Institute. Visit for more information.

Spirituality in Challenging Times


Special Guest: Eric Klein — founder of Wisdom Heart
Moderated by Jonathon Collopy — April 7, 2020

Learn tangible skills and practices from Eric Klein, founder of Wisdom Heart and author of "Awakening Corporate Soul: Four Paths to Unleash the Power of People at Work."

This forum will explore how to stay centered and be less distracted by powerful emotions that arise from times of unrest. Visit for more information on mindfulness or Eric Klein.

Discover More Activities in Our Virtual YMCA

At the YMCA of San Diego County, the safety and well-being of our members, staff, volunteers and the broader community have always been, and will always be, a top priority.

While our branches may be temporarily closed, we're still committed to help everyone in our community stay active and engaged. Check out our Virtual YMCA for helpful family and community support resources, stimulating mental health and well-being webinars, fun kids activities, online social groups, live group exercise webcasts, and more!