Graduate social work students offer to help those on campus relax with new ‘De-Stress Yourself’ program throughout February


Graduate students in the social work program are offering Marshall University students a way to cope with the stress of college through their De-Stress Yourself group in February.

Megan Workman, Harry Cain, Kyra Carter, Shikeal Harris and Chelsea Totaro will be in charge of running the de-stress group along with director of the Marshall social work program, Peggy Proudfoot-Harman.

“Most people see social workers as child protective service workers, and while we can do that, we are also taught about behaviors,” Proudfoot-Harman said.

Professor Paula Rymer said her 634 Social Work Practice Two course was given an assignment to offer support groups for students. This is also counted as part of their practicum.

“We’re hoping we can help provide extra support to the students,” Rymer said. “The spring semester is harder, because it starts in the winter, it’s cold, the days are shorter, and there is a lot more work involved in the spring.”

The group is based around learning all aspects of stress.

“We’re going to be teaching people about stress, what it is and why we experience it,” Cain said. “Then we’ll go into the ways students experience stress and teach healthier coping mechanisms.”

The students running the destress group said they believed it was important to help students cope, meet new people and help new students handle all the new experiences when coming to college.

“Moving to college was a big adjustment for me,” Carter said. “I think it would have benefited me to have a group like this to assist me in dealing with it.

To the graduate students, this was more than just a way to help people de-stress.

“Coming in as a freshman, you have an anxiety about meeting new people,” Harris said. “So, this group lets you know that there are like-minded people out there and can help them build relationships.”

Rymer said she hopes to keep the groups going through the summer and the fall. It will continuously be part of the Social Work 634 course, but she said she hopes to keep rotating groups in more than just the spring semester.

“College is a big step, and we want people to know that health isn’t just physical,” Totaro said. “Health involves your spirit and your mind as well, and you have to take care of it all and balance it all.”

De-stress Yourself will be at 6p.m. every Monday from Feb. 12 to Feb. 26.

Michaela Crittenden can be contacted at [email protected]