It’s especially important for faculty and staff to be alert for students who may be struggling emotionally this fall because of pandemic-related stressors and anxiety around returning to the classroom, says Julie Glovin, staff counselor and mental health outreach manager.
To that end, the Worcester State Counseling Center will offer faculty and staff training on how to recognize and respond to students in distress. The one-hour stand-alone training sessions will be offered in four time slots, from August 25 to October 12.
“These trainings give attendees the tools to know how to talk to a student in distress, what questions to ask, and how to make a referral to counseling,” Glovin says. The discussion will include non-emergency and emergency situations. Information about Worcester State’s Behavioral Intervention Team will also be covered.
Sometimes students may share extremely concerning information, such as saying they are having suicidal thoughts. The training also talks about what to do in these scenarios, Glovin says. Worcester State has been designated a “Jed Campus” by the Jed Foundation, which means the university has adopted best practices for suicide prevention and takes the approach that student emotional wellbeing is a campus-wide effort, she says.
The seemingly endless pandemic has taken a toll on all of us. But even before COVID-19, students faced increasing stress in recent years, Glovin says. “There are financial factors. We have a lot of first-generation students who are really trying to help their families manage at home while also trying to be college students. And many of our students work in addition to being in school.”
The pandemic created the additional stress of remote learning, but now many students are experiencing anxiety about coming back to campus and wondering what in-person learning will be like. “For our second-year students who last year did pretty much everything remotely, they have anxiety because they feel like they are first-year students again,” Glovin says. “Even if they lived in the residence halls, they didn’t have the full experience of going from class to class and navigating the campus.”
The training schedule is 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 25 over Zoom; noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, September 15 in person (Student Center, Foster Room, C318, 3rd Floor); noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, October 6 over Zoom; and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 12 over Zoom.
Please email Julie Glovin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or are interested in participating.
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