By Ashar Memon, October 19 2018 —
Feeling stressed? The University of Calgary Students’ Union is hosting a new series of workshops that it says will help students learn about and manage feelings of stress.
Stress Buster is a series of six workshops held every month this academic year, except for December and April. The workshops aim to help students de-stress and learn more about mental health resources on campus.
SU vice-president student life Nabila Farid said the workshop typically lasts an hour and fifteen minutes. The first half consists of a roundtable discussion hosted by a speaker from the campus community. The second half of events will involve related activities.
“Every month there’s a different theme,” Farid said. “It’s really a frequent way for students to de-stress, as well as learn about a topic that’s related to stress.”
The theme for the September session of the workshop was “Positive Stress,” where students learned how to make stress balls from scratch. In October, the workshop focused on balancing academics with mental health and the activities included students making their own bath bombs.
Farid said she tries to find activities that are appealing to students. She added that many ideas for activities come from students themselves.
“I did my outreach initiative where I just go around talking to students and giving out candy and kind of saying, ‘Hey, what would you like to see in terms of mental health programming and what’s your favourite activity?’ ” she said.
Past speakers at the workshop include SU Wellness Centre psychologist Jennifer Thannhauser and community training co-ordinator Mandy McCaughley. Farid said she also plans to collaborate with the Native Centre for future workshops.
“I try to reach out to a different unit on campus and collaborate with them, and there’s always an activity and a take-home bag as well,” Farid said. “I just wanted to make sure that a conversation was being had in terms of stress. I also think it’s just a great way to take a break from class and do an activity.”
When asked about her thoughts on the general state of mental health on campus, Farid commended the U of C’s Campus Mental Health Strategy and the SU’s response to mental health issues at the U of C.
“The university is building a lot of really great and beneficial programming and I think the SU really prioritizes mental health,” Farid said. “Whenever we have a chance to create new programming for students to de-stress or deal with mental health, then we always take that chance.”
The next Stress Buster workshop will be held in November.