Kennesaw State’s Counseling and Psychological Services hosted a virtual workshop on Thursday through Microsoft Teams at 2 p.m., titled Managing Anxiety and Depression.
The reviewed experience is intended to inform about KSU’s mental health resources and to encourage everyone to learn more about the importance of recognizing mental health struggles. The relevance of being educated on mental health extends beyond the fact that September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
The pandemic has significantly worsened feelings of isolation, loneliness and instability, all of which contribute to increased rates of depression and anxiety disorders. These are also tied to a higher risk of suicide. In an effort to encourage students and faculty to take care of their mental health and help struggling peers, CPS information will be provided at the end of this article.
CPS employees Amanda Teer and Kelsey Friedrich gave warm welcomes to all the workshop attendees after waiting a few minutes for everyone to log into the meeting. The session consisted of an easily understandable PowerPoint-style presentation, and Teer announced that everyone had the option to select the “raise hand” button to speak or to use the group messaging feature while listening. She also made sure to mention that attendees who wanted PDFs of the same slides could receive them after the session upon request.
Teer thoroughly explained the information in each slide and kept a pleasant, conversational style during the presentation. As a result, the environment felt friendly and safe. Although Managing Anxiety and Depression is an educational series of workshops held throughout each semester as opposed to group therapy sessions, it is effective in educating attendees on recognizing and managing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Further into the presentation, Teer stressed that the typical symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders are not always present in everyone who is diagnosed. Symptoms cover a wide range for everyone who struggles with depression or anxiety, and they can often present themselves with physical symptoms. This is recognized as the mind-body connection, which means that symptoms often affect physical health as well as mental health.
In addition to educating on practical methods to manage symptoms, links to guided meditations were provided. The presented methods included practicing gratitude, spending more time with friends and pets, following healthy daily routines, limiting screen time, meditation, mindful movement and eating nutritious food. These methods are more commonly known as self-care, which is an overall method of managing symptoms by improving health holistically.
The presentation ended with time to ask questions, and Teer provided PDF copies of the slides for the students who requested them.
Students who are currently enrolled in classes are eligible for free CPS services. The following contact information for CPS is available for anyone who is interested in using those services.
Counseling@kennesaw.edu | 470-578-6600