Health and Wellness services help grieving students

Health and Wellness services help grieving students

Jayda Anderson, News Reporter

Winona State University’s Counseling and Wellness Services is currently running a Grief Support Group for Winona State students.

This group started meetings on Oct. 24 and will continue to meet until Nov. 21 in the Integrated Wellness Complex.

Eunie Alsaker, who is a licensed clinical social worker that has worked in Winona’s Counseling Services since 2003, is the facilitator for the Winona State Grief Support Group.

Alsaker said that “this group focuses on the loss, or death of a loved one.”

The Grief Support Groups are small, typically ranging from four to eight students.

Small sized groups are important so that the topic of grief and student’s personal experiences can be talked about amongst the group easily and students feel as though it is a more personal experience.

Alsaker said that they focus on many different topics related to grief. She said that some of the things that the Grief Support Group talks about are the different ways grieving can appear in a person.

“There is not one way to grieve, there are different styles of grieving, how to take care of yourself when grieving, development of skills to keep functioning, as well as the different types of grieving,” Alsaker said.

Although not able to talk about specific students, Alsaker talked about how many students have benefited from the Grief Support Group. She recalled students that had just lost a family member, friend or fellow student that had come to the Grief Support Group.

The group provides students with a place where they do not feel alone in sharing the grief over the loss of a loved one and provides them with a chance to speak in a safe, non-judgmental space, to others in similar situations with a licensed clinical social worker in the mix of people as well.

Alsaker said that these groups, run by her, have been held for about 10 years.

There are other events and groups like the Grief Support Group that are offered through Counseling and Wellness Services as well as the Integrated Wellness Complex.

On Thursdays at 2 p.m. in the WSU Counseling Services Relaxation Room, Winona State Counseling and Wellness Services offers an Anxiety Management Seminar. This is also put on by Alsaker and is said to be useful for those who want to manage anxiety and stress better.

These events will focus on understanding anxiety, calming the anxious body, calming the anxious mind and changing anxious behaviors This is open to all Winona State students.

The Winona State University Counseling and Wellness Services and Alsaker will be holding another Grief Support Group next semester for those that would like to attend.