Durham College Students Inc. (DCSI) is hosting the Anxiety and Depression Group virtually this month.
Prior to COVID-19, the Anxiety and Depression Group was available on campus but now DCSI’s outreach team is making their events accessible for students online.
“We’re trying to still be there for students just like we would if we were actually on campus,” says DCSI’s Outreach manager Nicole Shillingford-Grell.
The group meets through Nov. 30 on Zoom. Sessions are Mondays at 11:30 a.m.
It’s an hour-long with 10 students or less.
“It’s a nice close-knit group where people feel comfortable,” says Shillingford-Grell.
Students have the ability to feel safe to share, brainstorm other’s ideas, or other coping mechanisms to release stress during a hectic semester.
“It’s a closed group, so we’re hoping to have the same students every week for the entire month of November,” says Shillingford-Grell.
“It’s just really learning from each other, it’s really important… they’re a lot of great friendships I know (that) have been made throughout these groups, and just students supporting one another.”
Outreach social worker Shannah Finisterre says “we see a lot of students who say that they suffer from depression and anxiety, so we saw that as worthwhile and important to just tap into that and help students out.”
One-on-one sessions are also available through Zoom by booking online through DSCI’s website.
“If a student needs support, we’re able to connect with them online,” says Shillingford-Grell.
Adds Outreach Whitby coordinator Natalija Delibasi: “We assess them, asked what they would need, what support they need, and whatever we can do within, you know, our scope of practice.”
DCSI notes there has been some difficulty getting the word around now that everything is no longer in person.
“We [used to] have brochures, signage all over the student centre, we would announce it the Pit,” says Shillingford-Grell.
“As you can imagine, it’s online, we’re trusting that we’re advertising in the right social media platforms.”
Shillingford-Grell advises students to not “suffer in silence.”
“We have all these services, available for students, why not use it?,” she says.
To sign up, visit http://dcstudentsinc.ca/outreach-digital/