BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University’s Department of Wellness and Prevention Services is open by providing its services online instead of in person so that students — no matter where they may be — can access them safely.
“Although we are physically separated from students, the need for student support services continues to exist, and it is our duty to remain available and responsive to these needs,” said Dr. Alex F. Howard, director of Wellness and Prevention Services and interim assistant vice chancellor for the Division of Student Affairs.
“I am proud of the work being done by my team in Wellness and Prevention Services, as well as the work done by colleagues in other areas within the university. The work highlighted here is an example of how the many dedicated employees of Appalachian seek to create a culture of care for all enrolled students,” he said.
Appalachian’s Koru Mindfulness classes, for example — a four-week program designed to help students feel less stressed, less overwhelmed and more focused, and get better sleep — are being taught through Zoom video conferencing.
In addition, those unable to meet during the free classes are invited to participate in the Koru Un-class, which gives access to the Koru Mindfulness app, including guided meditations, a meditation log and a gratitude journal, for a small fee.
“Right now is a time when we need to be exceptionally gentle with ourselves, and mindfulness can help us with that,” said Elisabeth Cavallaro, Wellness and Prevention Services’ assistant director and coordinator for student mental wellness.
“Mindfulness can help us stay grounded in the present moment, something that people may be finding challenging right now, in the midst of this pandemic. At least for a few moments, we can allow ourselves to be in the present moment, and allow and acknowledge all the feelings and thoughts we are having in a nonjudgmental manner.”
Cavallaro said the desire to participate in Koru is clear, as two-thirds of the classes being offered are full. “Due to demand, right now, we are only allowing our students to sign up for this class, but the ‘un-class’ allows anyone to learn these valuable skills on their own time,” she said.
Additionally, Mindful Minutes — in which Cavallaro leads a 5- to 10-minute meditation — are offered almost every weekday at 1 p.m. on Wellness and Prevention Services’ Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Visit Wellness and Prevention Services’ COVID-19 website for information on the following:
- Collegiate Recovery Community support meetings.
- Special “social distancing” events.
- One-on-one services (clinical and peer-to-peer).
- Online suicide prevention training.
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About the Division of Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University is committed to the development of lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. The division consists of 14 units that offer activities and services to help students develop more fully by becoming global learners, fostering healthy relationships, appreciating diversity and different perspectives, understanding community responsibility, enhancing self-awareness, developing autonomy and living ethically. These units include the Career Development Center, Wellness and Prevention Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services, Parent and Family Services, University Housing, Student Engagement and Leadership, Student Conduct, University Recreation, Intercultural Student Affairs, Student Legal Clinic and Off Campus Student Services, Electronic Student Services, Child Development Center, and Staff Development and Strategic Initiatives. Learn more at https://studentaffairs.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.