UCC offers anxiety workshops to help relieve students from global stresses

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The UCC door. UCC has adapted their anxiety workshops to be virtual. File photo

Erin Haynes

Loyola’s University Counseling Center is offering virtual anxiety workshops for students overwhelmed by the current state of the world.

“I cannot imagine being an undergraduate student right now with the pandemic, many social justice crises, financial crisis, political climate— there’s so much that’s happening that it’s contributing to the amount of stress students experience each day,” said Brittney Johnson, associate director of the UCC.

Johnson said that students experience a lot of “screen-time” through virtual learning, but it’s a constant reminder of the state of the world, which is what stresses students out.

When the pandemic started during the spring semester, many students were unprepared for the sudden lifestyle change and their anxiety peaked. The UCC began offering their services, such as the anxiety workshops, online to help students feel supported, said Johnson.

The anxiety workshops are offered weekly on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., and students can join the conversation by clicking on a Zoom link sent by the UCC, according to Johnson.

Despite the name, the workshops cover several topics, and students can choose which Zoom sessions they wish to attend by viewing the subjects on the UCC’s website, said Johnson.

“We know that it was important to offer something for the general student population. Everyone may not want to come in for counseling but may find a lot of benefit from the conversations,” said Johnson.

Johnson said that most students are relieved to have a moment to talk about their experiences, and they leave positive responses in an optional survey after a workshop.

The workshops also start conversations for students, and Johnson said that several of them will reach out to speak with a counselor about their mental health.

“I know that just like any process, it’s important to get feedback and to look at how we might evaluate and change to best meet the needs of students,” said Johnson.

The UCC recognizes that all students respond to stress and anxiety in different ways, and it’s important to talk about their struggles to learn how to adapt to the ever-changing world, according to Johnson.

Students can evaluate how they are feeling with a self-care guide that’s an “electronic resource students can use by clicking on little boxes of how they’re feeling,” which the UCC introduced after the start of the pandemic, said Johnson.

Johnson said these resources help students learn about themselves, how their peers are coping with mental health issues, and how to prioritize self-care.

“I think it would be relieving to have a space where I can share my experiences or just sit back and listen,” said Johnson.