Anxiety tool kit workshop

Jocyln Ventura, Co-Editor in Chief

The anxiety tool kit is an educational workshop led and run by the Texas A&M University-Commerce Counseling Center to aid students in understanding and coping with their stress and anxiety. 

This workshop is broken up into three 30-minute segments over a span of three weeks. Attendees are able to really assess their anxiety levels, make some realizations on how they may have been handling anxiety and learn some helpful tricks to reduce it. Mindful techniques are taught so that attendees can identify what their anxiety is and what triggers them.

“Anxiety is inevitable, it is hard coded in our DNA as a survival response.  However, it is often triggered in situations that are not life-threatening.  We address the fight/flight/freeze response of the sympathetic nervous system and learn how to activate its opposite, the parasympathetic nervous system, to calm down,” staff counselor Dean Mattox said.

Although attendees are not required to participate in the sharing portion of these sessions, they are still encouraged to listen and welcomed to learn. And although 30 minutes does not seem like enough time to discuss everything, it is enough to share information on other sources provided on campus that they are more than welcome to try or look into.

The goal of the workshop is to help attendees understand their anxiety, recognize how it is affecting their body, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, learn some tools to manage their responses, and ultimately create their own personalized Anxiety Management Plan,” Mattox said. “With the right tools, many mental health issues are manageable. At the Counseling Center, I believe our role is to do more than just provide counseling sessions, we want to provide tools to help students be healthy, happy and successful.”

A Student Mental Health Survey was conducted in September 2020 during the pandemic. Active Minds found that of more than 2,000 high school and college students 75% believed their mental health worsened during the global pandemic caused by Covid-19. 87% reported they were dealing with anxiety and 77% reported social isolation/loneliness with similar numbers in depression. The TAMUC Counseling Center focuses on five main concepts to guide them as well as students on campus: student mental health & wellness, outreach & prevention, training & education, consultation and diversity & inclusion. 

The current workshop runs Jan. 28 to Feb. 11 at 2:30 p.m. over Zoom. The next series will be on Feb. 25, March 4 and March 11. For more information about attending an event contact the Counseling Center or check out their twitter, @TAMUC-CounCtr.