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University offers de-stress events and counseling services during finals week

As finals week approaches, many students experience stress. Events on Monday, Dec. 8 at Baker University Center and Alden Library offer students free counseling services and ways to ease their anxiety.

The Bobcats for Suicide Prevention Campaign group will offer cotton candy, popcorn and coffee in the third floor atrium at Baker. Students can make and take stress balls and counselors will be on-hand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for anyone needing tips on how to manage their stress properly.

“This is our third year hosting this event, said Kayli Francisco, an executive board member of the Bobcats for Suicide Prevention Campaign. “We do it before fall and spring finals as a way to relax the students. We put this on because stress and anxiety is huge at this school. We don't want someone to make a life-changing decision. We want everyone to know they have options, people to talk to and that they are never alone."
Librarians Jessica Hagman and Hilary Bussell helped organize the events taking place inside Alden Library’s second floor Learning Commons. Offerings include overnight doughnuts and coffee starting at 2 a.m. Licensed therapy dogs will be available from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the second floor Leisure Reading area. Research has shown spending time with animals is beneficial during stressful situations.

“It is important to give yourself permission to take care of yourself during this time,” stated Erika Gray, a licensed clinical psychologist and outreach coordinator within Ohio University Counseling and Psychological Services. “If you find that your stress is becoming more than you can manage on your own, it’s good to know where you can turn.”

Gray reminds students there is an after-hours crisis line offered by calling the office’s main number.

“It is important to know that there is someone for you to talk to 24/7,” stated Gray. “You don’t have to manage this alone.”

Counseling and Psychological Services offers drop-in counseling hours from 9:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Counselors offer after-business hours consultations in Jefferson Hall from 5 to 10 p.m. every day except Saturday. A counselor is always available by phone when calling the Counseling and Psychological Service’s main number 740-593-1616. This number directs students to an after-hours crisis line.

Visit the office on the web at http://www.ohio.edu/counseling/Suicide-Prevention/Resources.cfm.