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Cirque de Stress, Brandywine’s Advice To De-Stress 

Jennifer Toadvine, Ph.D.,our campus’s clinical councilor, takes charge during Suicide Awareness & Prevention week on Tuesday’s Cirque de Stress.  Offering a raffle of prizes aimed to help students cope with any stress that comeswith college life.Photo Credit: Ian Kerrigan

Ian Kerrigan, Lion’s Eye Staff Writer, izk5047@psu.edu

Brandywine’s counseling services took to the student union lawn on Tuesday, September 5, to show students helpful ways to prevent being overwhelmed by stress—both on and off campus.

Cirque de Stress was the beginning of Suicide Awareness & Prevention Week that Student Affairs conducted from September 5 through September 8.  Events for the week also included free mental health screenings, and a show called “SMILE,” which was a comedian’s experience on his depression.  The week ended with a workshop about suicide awareness and prevention led by Sara Ralph, LPC, a local mental health provider.

Tuesday’s events ranged from engaging games, visiting stress pets, and on-site advice for coping with stress and difficult emotions that come with any amount of course work.   Coordinating the event was Brandywine counselor Jennifer Toadvine, Ph.D., whose resides in in the office of student affairs.  Among the tents on the Student Union lawn were fun carnival games, students playing cooperative games with each other, and a raffle, for prizes, like a yoga kit.

Toadvine offered advice to all students in the event they feel overwhelmed by their course loads and any stressors that came from outside school.  “The first thing is to acknowledge that you are being stressed, know what is stressing you, and talk about it,” said Toadvine.

“The best way to relieve stress is to have fun and find a way to distract yourself, be with friends and avoid creating stressful situations,” was Toadvine’s advice on preventing future stress.

Also at the events were several dogs that act as “stress pets,” providing a calming element in the midst of stressful moments.  Animals like these are able to detect when people are either upset or lonely.  “The connection formed between owner and pet leads to emotional support and de-stressing.  Any animal will do and the best thing is to find a connection with any animal,” was Toadvine’s opinion about how to successfully have an animal make life easier.

For any additional help on relieving stress or help with school life, the counseling center is in room 207 of the Student Union Building and Toadvine can be reached through her PSU email jut46@psu.edu.

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