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K-State Parents and Family Association

Counseling Services: Peer Education and Life-Skills Workshop

Peer Advocates for Mental Wellness Success (P.A.W.S.)

Counseling Services introduces a new Peer Education opportunity for K-State Students

P.A.W.S is a peer education course that prepares students to go out and make timely, informative presentations about various mental wellness topics to their peers across campus. Studies have shown that peers learn best from fellow peers, therefore, Counseling Services sees this group as an integral part of our educational purpose on campus that strives to help students succeed personally, academically and socially.     

The course is structured around the Certified Peer Education curriculum developed by the NASPA Bacchus initiative as well as Dr. Fred Newton’s, “Students Helping Students”, text. Over the course of the semester, they will learn about various mental wellness topics: stress management, suicide prevention/intervention, drugs and alcohol, depression and stigma reduction. In addition to mental wellness topics, students will also learn the fundamentals of becoming a peer educator. Skills such as listening, providing feedback, program development, and effective presentation ability will be covered. Upon completion of the course, students who pass the Peer Educator certification exam will be eligible for potential hire by Counseling Services as part of the Peer Educator team. All students who pass the certification exam will also be invited to become active members of the P.A.W.S. student group.

Feel Better Fast

We are proud to offer a life-skills workshop called Feel Better Fast. The Feel Better Fast program is based on principles of mindfulness, emotion regulation, resiliency and distress tolerance, and meditation for relaxation.  Through mindfulness, we teach students to focus on the present moment, rather than living in the future (anxiety) or living in the past (depression).  This can allow them to focus on what has to be done and how to effectively complete it.  With emotion regulation, we focus on developing skills to manage painful emotions when they occur. So often, we try to run from our emotions, rather than listen to them and successful use them to motivate us for positive change.  Through resiliency and distress tolerance, we discuss those factors that will most likely increase our chances of surviving a “crisis” whether that crisis is failing an exam or learning one of our loved ones is terminally ill.  Finally, in meditation, we cultivate a sense of peace and safety through breathing for relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery.  

These presentations are free to all students and they do not have to be clients at Counseling Services.  We will be offering 11 weeks of training this semester on the following days, times, and locations: ●Tuesdays, beginning January 31 from 1:00-2:00 pm in Leadership Studies 112 ●Wednesdays, beginning February 1 from 4:00-5:00 pm in Leadership Studies 111         ● Thursdays, beginning February 2 from 11:30-12:30 pm in Leadership Studies 126.

Source:  Wendy D. Barnes, Ph.D., Online Programs/Outreach Coordinator, Counseling Services, Kansas State University, Office:  (785) 532-6927 Email:  wdb3838@ksu.edu