With the Fall Term set to begin next week, Brock University’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC) is reminding students of the strong connection between positive mental health and academic success.
The unique stressors that come with being a university student have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused additional living and studying challenges. SWAC has developed support groups, webinars and workshops to help students develop skills and strategies to help them be resilient throughout this unique school year.
These offerings provide opportunities for students to work through their stress and mental health needs while learning important coping strategies. SWAC developed these programs with a multitude of unique issues in mind that students may be dealing with.
The workshops, webinars and support groups focus on issues such as long-term mental health struggles, specific areas of stressors such as relationships or test anxiety, improving general mental wellness, academic success, growth mindset, meditation and study skills.
“At the SWAC, we recognize that students may be looking for ways to adapt and grow during this challenging time,” said Sarah Pennisi, Director, Office of the Vice Provost and AVP, Students. “That’s why we are offering a number of webinars, support groups and workshops to students. They can sign up through and build skills to cope with COVID-19-related stress, find ways to deal with exam anxiety and learn about healthy relationships.”
Students who are looking for extensive mental health support should consider the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) groups, which are facilitated synchronous groups that meet weekly for 10 weeks. Through a combination of learning about the mind, specific coping mechanism and the opportunity to apply practical experiences throughout the weeks, students will focus on four main modules: mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness.
For those who are looking for support without the long-term commitment of a support group, the SWAC webinars and workshops are shorter opportunities for students to gain help for both their well-being and academics.
For example, the emotion regulation and distress tolerance workshops focus on building concrete skills that students can begin to use immediately for managing overwhelming emotions, reducing challenging symptoms and increasing positive experiences. The relationship workshop helps students to identify signs of healthy relationships and communication methods. While working through case studies, students will be able to apply their new skills to build effective relationships in their personal and professional lives.
For students with test anxiety, there is a specific workshop that covers the common experience of anxiety and stress surrounding exams. The facilitator will cover where the anxiety stems from and how to utilize practical skills to overcome it.
SWAC’s growth mindset workshop is offered multiple times to fit different schedules. This workshop is a hands-on experience that applies the concept of a growth mindset to students’ academic and personal lives to increase wellbeing and academic success. To prepare for this workshop, students should watch the prerequisite recorded workshop, ‘Becoming a Growth Mindset Badger’ on the .
A full list of the available SWAC groups, webinars and workshops can be found on the . For additional mental health resources, students can visit the .