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HUNTINGTON — The Marshall University Psychology Clinic will offer an Anxiety and Depression Skills and Support Group to assist individuals in improving their abilities to cope with feelings of depression and anxiety, according to a news release.

The online group will have its first meeting from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 5, and continue for eight weeks via Microsoft Teams. The group is open to both Marshall University students and community members at no charge. Individuals who are 18 years or older; reside within West Virginia, Kentucky or Ohio; and are struggling with symptoms of anxiety, depression or general difficulties coping are welcome to participate in the group. Participants should have the ability to access a virtual group link and have stable internet access, as well as a private place to talk about their concerns.

This therapy group will provide information and facilitate practice of general coping skills for common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Skills practices to be covered include goal setting, increasing motivation, identifying and addressing unhelpful thoughts, understanding the relationship between thoughts and behaviors and improving self-care. Additionally, this group will facilitate weekly discussions on a range of relevant topics including how behaviors can improve the way that we feel, current events and stressors, and relationships.

“The past year has been filled with challenges that individuals have not had to face before,” said Jake Bass, who is a Psy.D. student at Marshall and one of the group’s facilitators. “There have been a lot of difficult changes, and with those comes stress that we might not know how to manage yet. We hope that through this group individuals will gain a clearer understanding of their own experiences and learn helpful skills to better cope with symptoms of anxiety or depression.”

This group could be beneficial in assisting individuals in learning new coping skills, improving their current skills and providing a safe space to discuss experiences with anxiety and depression.

“In some way or another, everyone experiences stress. Sometimes, stressful experiences build up and begin to present in multiple ways, whether that is not being able to get out of the bed in the morning or stressing about life when it is time to go to sleep,” said Casey Collins, also a Psy.D. student and facilitator of the group. “These symptoms, common in anxiety and depression, are often things people suffer through in silence. That suffering impacts an individual’s mental and physical health and their social relationships. Jake and I truly want this group to help people learn how to manage and cope with the day-to-day stress they experience, while also helping members learn to empower themselves. Being able to do this using distance technology, where all someone needs is a phone, tablet, or personal computer and an internet connection, allows us to reach a wider array of individuals in a safe and effective manner. Reaching individuals who struggle to receive services due to lack of availability is a huge goal for all mental health providers, and we’re happy to have the opportunity to reach such a wide array of people and help them to receive those services.”

Those who are interested may contact Bass by e-mail at Bass15@live.marshall.edu or Collins at Collins111@live.marshall.edu.

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