School offers solutions to rising stress
September 23, 2008 2:46 PM
Whether they are working 40 hours per week or living off of a trust fund, maintaining a school schedule is stressful. Papers are due, exams are scheduled and the shadow of graduating on time rest on the backs of all students.
“This year there are a lot more stressful students,” said Taghi Amjadi, Ph.D, a counselor at the SF State Counseling and Psychological Services Center. The CPSC has had about a 30 to 40 percent increase in student stress cases this school year, he said.
“Students are stressed for all kinds of reasons,” SF State clinical counselor Mary Cavagnaro said. “There are more people on campus; more competition and concerns to get into classes.”
Cavagnaro agrees that there has been a raise in students utilizing the CPSC, although they haven’t conducted a study yet to find the age group or reasons.
“There has been an increase in depression and anxiety cases, which are stress responses,” Cavagnaro said.
Cavagnaro and Amjadi agree that most of the student’s problems root from stress.
SF State offers several services to help combat stress, including Amjadi teaching a free meditation class every Tuesday in the Student Health Service Building’s conference room from noon to 1 p.m. All students are welcomed into the class, yet many students attend because some health and psychology classes are required to go.
“I thought I could benefit from this class,” Alyssa Viloria, a junior nursing major said. “My life is very stressful.”
Viloria took Dr. Amjadi’s Intro to Mediation class Sept. 16 to fulfill a requirement for her Consumer Health class. She said that between her boyfriend, family, friends, school and work her life was very stressful.
Dr. Amjadi’s class takes place behind a locked door with the lights dimmed to create the most serene environment.
After the class Viloria felt better about the stress in her life.
“I am going to try to use mediation,” she said. “I feel so relaxed right now.”
Dr. Amjadi said that by simply taking some deep breaths, holding them in, and then slowly breathing out for a few moments a day can reduce a lot of stress.
Cavagnaro agreed, saying meditation is an excellent way to reduce stress, but it also depends on the person.
“Some people have to have contact and get it out verbally; to share and unload their stress and then ask ‘What should I do now?’,” Cavagnaro said.
CPSC is hosting National Mental Health Screening Day in front of the Student Services Building on Oct. 7. Students will be able to gather information about different ways to prevent stress, fill out a depression screening form and speak with counselors on the spot.
For more information on student stress or what the CSPC offers visit the office in Student Services Building room 208 or call 415-338-2208.
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