No matter how big or small the situation may be, the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (UWGB) Counselors want to help you! “You deserve to take care of yourself and your physical health, which is tied to your mental health. We all need to do more to look after our mental health, especially nowadays,” says John Cheslock, a counselor at UWGB. “All counselors at UWGB want to remind students that they aren’t alone either, and they are here whenever you need them, even if it’s a small chat about your day,” Cheslock said.
Mr. Cheslock provides more insight on a Zoom Q&A of a program called “Supportive Connections.” This group meets once a week for an hour, which varies from week to week, and is ran by Michelle Gauger, another counselor at the University. He goes on to say, “The program isn’t to replace one-on-one counseling but is there to help get students and their peers together to talk about things going on that may be bothering them. This allows students to share ideas, coping skills, and the biggest thing is getting that “aha” moment and realizing that you’re not the only one dealing with something similar. Learning you aren’t alone.” He goes on to say, “the more you put into the program, the more you get out of it, which is a great way to connect with other students on campus and allows you to meet and support each other.”
Another tool available to students is a program called “Pathways,” a workshop run by Theresa Weise, a counselor at UW-Green Bay. This a program where you meet for three days, learn to manage, and develop tools to assist with anything, such as stress. Mr. Cheslock says, “Pathways is more of a learning process, something you don’t have to divulge into like group therapy.”
Coping With COVID
Michelle Gauger said, “Everything is a little heightened because of COVID-19. All of the uncertainties and things going on in the world exasperate the symptoms we may have already been experiencing. Some of the stress symptoms that can come with COVID -19 is the fear and worry about your health, family, and friend’s health, as well as financial situations that can come from being laid off or even cuts in employment.” She goes on to say, “COVID-19 symptoms are so similar to cold and flu symptoms that whenever you feel a symptom similar to the illness, it can cause more fear and worry for some people. Our fears can make us go to the worst-case scenario in our heads. These worries can cause changes in sleep patterns (more or less sleep), eating patterns (more or less intake), and concentrating; such as lack of motivation, especially with everything being online.” Any prior health or mental health concerns before COVID-19 can worsen too, as well as, the use of alcohol and drugs Mrs. Gauger says, “could increase symptoms.”
Counseling, Supportive Connections, Pathways, etc., are all free provided and paid for by the University. For more information on counseling resources, go to the Wellness Center at UWGB. “We’re not going to laugh or judge you for anything; we will guide and help you because we are here to listen and want to help,” said best by Mr. Cheslock.
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