When the Abington Community Library concludes its new mental health support program in March, nearly one year will have passed since COVID-19 began to affect everyone’s daily lives.

The library’s project manager, Renee Roberts, said even if circumstances don’t improve by then, hopefully patrons will have better coping mechanisms for what’s to come.

The program’s first session begins tonight: Your Best Self: Mental Health Support.

Using funding from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the library invited Dr. Tiffany Griffiths, Psy.D., to lead monthly online meetings focused on mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).

“We’re really hoping that patrons can get a sense of support and community from this program,” Roberts said. She wants participants to “come out feeling more supported and a better version of themselves.”

Griffiths serves as president and CEO of Tiffany Griffiths, Psy.D. & Associates Inc., which serves clients in Dunmore, Clarks Summit, Peckville, Exeter and Kingston. She also owns Mindful NEPA in the Marketplace at Steamtown.

Throughout the pandemic, Griffiths and the clinicians she oversees have served both adults and children feeling anxiety and other issues because of the pandemic. Some have a mental health history; others do not.

She calls her program at the library “therapeutic, not clinical.” Over five sessions, participants will learn about the benefits of mindfulness and the science behind it. Griffiths plans to incorporate readings from Jon Kabat-Zinn, a key player in the MBSR movement.

Her goal is to equip participants with tools to cope with stress in a healthy way. In the end, she wants the group to feel more in control and empowered when it comes to their emotions and stress response.

“I hope this plants the seed for a lifelong practice of mindfulness,” Griffiths said.

To register or receive more information, email Roberts at rroberts@albright.org. Free supplementary materials will be available for pickup. The online program begins today and continues Dec. 10, Jan. 14, Feb. 11 and March 11. Each meeting begins at 7 p.m.

The Abington Library has been offering a variety of online programming to patrons as COVID-19 keeps people physically apart.

“This is another way to support our community virtually,” Roberts said.