New peer communities, other TWU resources help with wellbeing
Feb. 3, 2022 — DENTON — While providing mental health resources has always been at the forefront of services offered to TWU students, more alternatives are available than ever before, and new peer communities provide a unique opportunity for students to connect.
According to a BestColleges.com survey, 95% of college students have experienced negative mental health symptoms as a result of COVID-19-related circumstances. Almost half (48%) believe the mental health effects have directly affected their education.
To help mitigate concerns and provide another layer of support and connection, TWU is offering three new peer support communities:
- Maintaining Emotional Health
- Grad Student Parenting Pioneer Support (PEEPS) Community
- New TWU Transfer Student Community
Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., AVP for Student Enrichment, Health and Support, indicated that students struggling with feelings of social isolation, loneliness and a decline in their general sense of emotional wellbeing may benefit from these new peer communities.
“Although counseling is sometimes the most appropriate and necessary source of support for a student, others would be very well served by opportunities to connect, talk and interact with peers,” said Brown. “Opportunities for meaningful dialogue and constructive social engagement can help students reduce and manage stress, decrease isolation and foster a sense of belonging.”
The new peer communities add to the lineup of recently added options, including:
- Pioneer Pet Therapy Program
- Swipe Out Hunger
- Equine Therapy visits
- TRIBE Black student peer-led support group
- Fit & Rec gaming lounge (opening soon)
- TAO Connect
Students, like Sasa Vann, a third-year counseling and psychology doctoral student and member of TRIBE, said joining a peer group has been connecting and affirming. “Having this space has allowed me to feel safe. It’s also so nice to be able to speak freely and know someone in the room is going to get my little random something. The members of TRIBE see me and validate me not just in stressful experiences but in moments of joy too.”
Brown hopes that more students take advantage of the opportunities to meet with others and make new friends.
“The pandemic has been an emotionally draining and isolating experience. There is no better time for us to encourage our students to cultivate supportive communities and to be intentional about nurturing their collective health and wellbeing,” said Brown.
Page last updated 10:42 AM, February 4, 2022