Tim Durham, associate director of Counseling Services at Denison’s Whisler Center for Student Wellness, used to be skeptical about the number of students who would use the coloring pages the staff made available during the College’s De-stress Fests. But then he saw how many students grabbed a marker or crayon and started to color.
The idea behind De-stress Fests, which also include visits from therapy dogs and educational sessions focused on relaxation, was born in 2008 as a way to help students relax, especially during finals and midterms when the pressure is on.
(If you want to share your masterpieces, send us a photo, and we’ll print a few in an upcoming issue.)
It may sound as if this generation of Denisonians is getting the spa treatment, but student stress is a real concern on college campuses across the nation. The American Psychological Association notes that over the last decade, the number of students seeking treatment for depression and anxiety at school counseling centers is on the rise. The staff members at Whisler also are well aware that Denison students often spread themselves too thin, immersing themselves not only in their classes, but also in service projects, clubs, sports, and performance. “It’s all about helping them find balance,” says Durham.