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Saturday, Nov 17, 2018

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Campus Involvement Center launches StressLess website to provide students with an abundance of stress and anxiety resources


Last year, students and representatives from various Ohio University departments formed the Stress and Anxiety Reduction Committee (SARC). The group developed the StressLess website with resources to help students manage stress and anxiety.

“We were noticing our students were increasingly stressed over the last five years,” Ann Addington, assistant director of health promotion at OHIO’s Campus Involvement Center said. “We felt we needed to try to get to the root of the problem.”

College is the first time many students have lived away from home or have been away from their family for a significant period of time. According the American Psychological Association, 80 percent of college students say they sometimes or often feel stressed.

“We need to help our students learn to relax and manage stress through healthy outlets so they will lead more enriched lives now and after graduation,” Addington said.

The website lists seven categories causing college students the most stress and a thorough list of campus resources for help managing each stressor. The seven categories include: career and academic, emotional, financial, environmental, physical, social and cultural and spiritual.

“We know students will sometimes self-medicate with alcohol and other drugs to relieve stress,” Addington said. “They may also be tempted to misuse another student’s prescription medication to focus or calm anxiety. We needed to address the misuse of drugs and figure out why our students are self-medicating.”

Students can assess their risk for alcohol, marijuana, or prescription drug misuse through ScreenU, a website resource that supports prevention efforts on campus by providing screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment.

“If we can help students manage their stress on campus, we have an opportunity to lower the misuse of prescription drugs and alcohol, as well as illicit drug use,” Addington said.

The site lists a link to Welltrack, a free self-guided online therapy program which is confidential to all OHIO students. Additionally, the site lists 22 iPhone and android applications to help manage stress and anxiety and 10 applications to improve sleep. A Student Stress and Anxiety Guide, stress quiz and a short YouTube video, “Press Pause,” offer additional support.

“There is a lot of pressure on students to reach high levels of academic achievement in college so they will have an edge on the job market after graduation,” Addington said.

Career and academic resources listed within the site offer students help with notetaking, writing, studying and being more confident during exams. Walk-in advising, interview and resume help are also listed.

“Even though technology is linking people together, more young people are experiencing loneliness,” Addington said. “I think this is coupled with feelings of needing to be doing something productive all of the time.”

Social and cultural wellness suggestions for connecting with others include lists of the University’s 500 student organizations, volunteer opportunities and event links.

University meditation spaces, counseling resources and a “Chill Out: Stress Management Program” aid students with emotional and environmental wellness. 

Financial wellness classes, FIN2010 and TRANSIT, introduce students to the importance of personal credit scores, consumer debt, goal setting, household budgeting and major purchase decision-making.

A thorough list of fitness centers, group fitness classes, personal training services and clubs are listed under the physical wellness icon, along with information on nutrition counseling, an Eating Disorders Anonymous support group and an Eating Disorder Support Team.

SARC members plan to continuously monitor and improve the website. They also hope to implement a badge or reward system for students who complete a set of requisites in each category. The site’s online library contains research articles on anxiety, stress and depression.

Faculty with stress, anxiety and depression research-related articles to contribute to the StressLess library may contact Ann Addington at 740-593-4749.

Visit the StressLess website at: https://www.ohio.edu/stressless/index.cfm.