By Jillian McIntosh
Bouncing Back from COVID-19 is a project created by faculty in the department of psychological sciences and counseling at Youngstown State University.
Amy Williams is an assistant professor who specializes in substance use disorders. She said the grant-funded project is to help first-year students transition and returning students integrate back into campus life.
“We really want to provide a lot of different avenues and opportunities for folks on campus to be able to learn and experience from the shift from surviving to thriving,” she said.
Bouncing Back from COVID-19 will provide wellness workshops for the YSU community throughout the academic year.
Each month is based on the nine pillars of wellness that are displayed at Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, career, financial, intellectual, aesthetic and environmental wellness.
Graduate students in the counseling program are offered the opportunity to volunteer and host the workshops.
Each member of the grant staff will research and present topics that are both informative and entertaining.
Morgan Fisher, a first-year clinical mental health counseling student in the graduate studies program, is one of the graduate assistants who is working closely with the staff in organizing the workshops.
“I wanted to get involved because I feel that this is going to play a vital role in students’ lives right now,” she said. “Especially with the difficulties that have been brought to light during the whole pandemic.”
Students can participate in the wellness workshops and receive merchandise offered in relation to the different topics discussed, such as inspirational notebooks.
“It’s pretty easy to attend and get involved because [students] can show up at the booth,” Fisher said. “Even if they can’t stay for the entire duration of the workshop, they are free to leave anytime.”
Workshops in October will center around physical wellness, and will offer tips on sleep, eating, exercise and routines. They are designed to tackle issues that students face on a daily basis and to help them make smart choices with substances and find ways to stay healthy.
Graduate student Kyle Shaffer works on the grant as a research assistant. He said the messages the workshops deliver are important to the YSU community.
“To me, this grant has covered and will continue to cover all of these things to ensure that the students at YSU are healthy, both physically and mentally,” Shaffer said. “I saw it as a great opportunity to get involved on campus and promote a positive environment for the students.”
According to Shaffer, workshop dates, times and topics will be announced on the Instagram and Facebook pages @YSU_BouncingBack