Over the past few years, much attention has been paid to psychological problems that arise in our workplaces, in our schools, and in our families.

Over the past few years, much attention has been paid to psychological problems that arise in our workplaces, in our schools, and in our families.

The Commercial is introducing a weekly column today about mental health that will answer questions posed by people in our community. The author of the column is Nancy Ryburn, a native of Pine Bluff, who returned here in 2007. She is a clinical psychologist who teaches full-time at Southeast Arkansas College and maintains a private practice.

She received her doctoral degree in psychology from Yeshiva University in New York City and a master’s degree in speech communications from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Ryburn was a practicing psychologist in New York City for many years before returning to Pine Bluff. She has been an adviser for NBC’s Dateline in New York and a speaker for many groups on depression, anxiety, the psychological aspects of medical issues and weight management.

Ryburn also was employed by several magazines in New York including the Time Inc. Group, Ladies Home Journal, Seventeen, Teen and Scholastic. She has written numerous magazine articles including a monthly advice column for teen girls featured in four magazines.

Ryburn said she has “envisioned writing a newspaper column since returning to Pine Bluff more than five years ago that will allow me to answer basic questions that my students and patients have posed. I am delighted to have been given that opportunity.”

Her topics will include depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating problems, anxiety issues, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, childhood issues, personality disorders, marriage problems, post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues that are requested by readers.

The information in the column is not intended to be individual mental health treatment advice, but only to provide the community with needed information. Questions and answers will appear only in the column and inquires will not be answered personally to any reader. All questioners’ names will remain confidential.