The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s counseling services recently announced four new groups meant to help students cope with anxiety and stress during the Fall semester. The new groups, open to all students, include a mindfulness group, meditation moment, yoga class, and LGBTQ + support group.
Cai Carvalhaes, a therapist at the counseling center and a certified yoga instructor, was really excited about the new opportunities for students. She said the idea for this grew as she used mindfulness while working with students in the counseling center.
Each group is meant to decrease anxiety, stress, and depression in their own ways. Carvalhaes explained mindfulness as a space to change and meditation as more of a technique used to start the day off right.
Twelve students showed up for the first yoga class, and after the second class, the responses from the students were extremely positive.
“Relaxation is a foreign term to me, so this has helped me relax my body, and I’ve been saying all week that I cannot wait for this class to de-stress,” Baileigh Bell, a student at UA at LR, said.
Ashley Vickers, an intern at the counseling center, said she attends all of Carvalhaes’ classes and can see a positive impact from attending.
“I’ve been able to de-stress easier and I’ve learned how to manage my thoughts more,” Vickers said. “I’ve really noticed a change in my overall self and mood.”
Carvalhaes understands that some students might be unsure about attending some of the groups, but she strongly believes that everyone should try it.
“It’s not going to hurt, and the experience is going to provide them the information that they probably need because mindfulness is more about doing than learning,” Carvalhaes said. “It works for everybody in different ways.”
Students should feel free to email Carvalhaes about any of the classes if interested and have questions. The counseling center also has their own website and Facebook page to connect with students.