Support group offers hope to WSC students

Mindfulness group teaches students how to overcome school-related stress

Whitney Winter, Staff Writer

Whether you want to learn new techniques or you’re stressed out of your mind, this semester the Counseling Center has a Mindfulness group which is available for all students.

The Mindfulness group is a psychoeducational support group for any Wayne State student that is seeking help for their mental health. Jayne Halsey, LCSW, LIMHP, a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed independent mental health practitioner at WSC, started the group spring semester. The group meets Thursdays at 3-4 p.m. in the Counseling Center. Halsey said students can go to any of the sessions without going to all and still reap the benefits.

Halsey said her job involves providing individual and group therapy and providing mental health education and trainings to students, campus groups, staff and faculty members. She also provides crisis management and intervention services. She said students should seek mental health services if they are having issues and encourage other students to promote mental health services when they become concerned about others.

Mindfulness strategies include teaching people how to clear the clutter from their minds, decrease anxiety levels and decrease depression. All of these strategies can help with sleep. Halsey teaches students to focus on the present with grounding type exercises, which use mental distractions to help redirect thoughts away from distressing feelings and back to the present. Students learn about the power of vulnerability, breathing into stress and working with difficult emotions. Halsey said she is going to also teach loving-kindness meditation, dealing with busy schedules and time management.

Halsey said during the summer and spring months, students can take nature walks to relieve stress and clear their heads.

“Nature walks allow you to feel the wind in your hair, fresh air in your lungs and enjoy the sights that nature provides,” Kaitlyn Winter, a junior at WSC, said. “I take walks to clear my mind and a good walk can be a weight lifter.”

Halsey said it is best to work on a balanced life, by balancing time for study, self care and socializing.

“Grades are important, but not when it affects your mental health or physical well-being,” Halsey said.

If a problem is beyond control, Halsey said to accept it, balance time, and come to peace with it. If a problem is controllable, then tackle the easiest part and whittle down a list. But do not overly detail the list, instead prioritize.

Halsey said this generation of students are more open and see the value of seeking help for their mental health. She recommends that students take care of problems when they arise instead of letting them simmer and seek help.

Nationally on college campuses, anxiety is the number one reason students seek out help, Halsey said. Depression follows, then substance abuse and family issues. Anxiety can be caused by academic performance or transitioning to college. Many students are seeking mental help from the Counseling Center, and Halsey said she loves to see the stigma around mental health warning.

Students usually feel more open at the end of a consultation and all of the WSC therapists are very approachable, according to Halsey. The Counseling Center is a non-judgement zone and the four walls of a therapy office should be a person’s safe space. Halsey said if a person wants help but feels uncomfortable going alone then they should bring a friend. Friends offer a comfort system, and she said that the other person often benefits from the meeting.