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The Importance of Being Resilient

Rachel Boldman

Rachel Boldman, Director of the Stetson Counseling Center, hopes John B. Well Week activities will encourage students to visit the Counseling Center, if they need help with mental health issues.

The Stetson University Counseling Center will focus on resilience during John B. Well Week, Jan. 30-Feb. 2, teaching students to be resilient during challenging times and safeguarding their mental health.

The Counseling Center has organized the weeklong series of events annually since 2014 as a way to encourage students to seek professional help, when needed, and educate them about ways to increase their resiliency.

“Resilience is the bounce-back factor,” said Rachel Boldman, a licensed mental health counselor and Director of the Stetson Counseling Center. “When something happens that is sad or disappointing or not what you expected it to be, resilience is the way you bounce back from that event or crisis. We’re trying to really promote resilience and self-efficacy, so students know they have the tools inside of them to be resilient through challenging situations.”

On Monday and Wednesday, Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, Counseling Center staff will set up a table on the steps of the CUB from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Students will be encouraged to spin a wheel with questions about resiliency and win prizes. The staff also will encourage students to visit the Counseling Center if they’re struggling with anxiety, depression or other issues.

Anxiety is the number-one concern among students who visit the Counseling Center, Boldman said, ranging from anxiety about school, grades and finances to what’s being said about them on social media. Depression is also a top concern, followed by relationship issues, whether with romantic partners, friends or family, she said.

Becky Stone

Becky Stone is outreach coordinator for the Stetson Counseling Center.

Becky Stone is a licensed mental health counselor and outreach coordinator for the Counseling Center, and has staffed the table outside the CUB in previous years.

“A lot of students, I think, don’t know how to define resilience,” she said. “That’s what really stood out to me, and that’s part of the reason we do this work every year with John B. Well Week, so we can education the community on resilience and mental health in general.”

The John B. Well events also include:

  • On Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the documentary, “My Depression,” will be shown in the Rinker Auditorium of the Lynn Business Center, focusing on depression and suicide prevention. Cultural credit is available.
  • On Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m., renowned presenter Mike Domitrz will make a presentation, entitled “Can I Kiss You,” which has been offered on college campuses nationwide and deals with issues like how to ask for what you want sexually in intimate relationships to discussions around consent and sexual assault. The program, sponsored by Stetson Wellness and Recreation, will take place in the Hollis Center Rinker Field House. The first 100 attendees will receive free T-shirts. Cultural credit is available.
  • On Thursday, Feb. 2, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. students can drop in for Operation: Resilience in the Rinker Field House. The mental wellness fair will feature booths to teach students about resilience and different aspects of mental health. Students can vote on their favorite student artwork in the Art of Resilience exhibit featuring sculpture, paintings, photography and writing. Cultural credit is available.

Boldman recommended a few tools to increase resiliency. One is the 4-8-7 breathing technique, in which a person inhales to the count of four, holds the breath for the count of eight, and then exhales and releases to the count of 7.

Another technique is grounding, she said. During a stressful event, people can use the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, in which they internally name five things that they can see, four things they can touch, three things they can hear, two things they can smell and one thing they can taste. This technique helps people calm the racing thoughts that can exacerbate stress and anxiety, and instead stay grounded in the moment.

“We can do a lot to provide them with the tools and the resources they need to be resilient,” Boldman said. “We want people to know that seeking help, coming to counseling, taking care of your mental health, whether it’s self-care or seeing a professional, that’s a really important part of your wellness overall.”

The John B. Well Week is sponsored by the Stetson Counseling Center, Health Service, and Wellness and Recreation. For more information, visit here.