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LHU News

LHU alumna returns to campus to speak about mental health awareness

Brittany Cooley Photo

Brittany Cooley, a 2011 alumna from the Stephen Poorman College of Business, Information Systems and Human Services at Lock Haven University, recently returned to campus on April 3 to speak about mental health awareness.

Her presentation, “Hell to Hope: A Personal Story of Finding Purpose Through Pain,” was sponsored by the Social Work Club, with the assistance of Student Activities. Cooley works as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital and is an entrepreneur in branding and social media marketing.

The audience of 85 campus and community participants listened to Cooley recount the traumas she experienced as the daughter of a severely mentally ill mother. She discussed some of her experiences with the audience; all of which are included in her book “Strength Personified, A Personal Story of Tragedy to Triumph.”

Cooley shared that she never expected to return to Lock Haven University after writing a book about her life experiences, which occurred after she realized that she needed professional help to address fully.

Cooley detailed many aspects of her life up until the present. By sharing her story, Cooley is committed to changing the world. She talked about her life affected by severe mental illness, childhood homelessness and an attempted suicide. She shared how she underwent a life transformation by finding her purpose. The pain she went through has led to this moment and passion about helping others by connecting to, sharing and writing about her recovery.

Cooley also spoke to two social work practice classes and was a speaker for the social work program’s Alumni Lecture Series on April 4.

For more information on Lock Haven University, visit, email, or call 570-484-2011.

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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.

LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

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