By Brianna Carr, Staff Writer–
Despite the start of an unconventional semester for students, staff and faculty, the Counseling Center at UTC is now offering free virtual groups to students, to provide relief and comfort during tough circumstances surrounding Covid-19.
Students received an email with descriptions of all future virtual meetings available including grief and loss support, FIERSE: a women’s self-esteem group, an LGBTQ+ support group, a group for students of color, de-stress and re-focus groups, and student athlete groups.
Brittney Lord, Counselor and Outreach Coordinator said these events will include engaging and experimental activities for students to find support during these unusual times.
“I think it’ll be really good to be able to really help both undergraduate and graduate students who may not be able to or may not feel comfortable coming to a group setting, especially now…” she said. These online groups are accessible to every student to feel included, make new friends, and have their voices heard.
The counseling center believes the regulations and restrictions set in place for Covid-19 on campus were indeed helpful and accommodating for students, because now they won’t need to worry about driving or getting around campus to be present, but instead have the ability to attend these meetings from the comfort of their own housing.
“…we’re hoping that this enables more people to join us. …they will feel safe and a little bit more time efficient for them as well,” Lord said.
Flyers have gone up in the University Center and all through campus to promote the dates and times of all virtual events. Students can also review the information sent to their emails, or call the counseling center to receive direct links to the counseling group of their choice.
Lord stated that attendance is always free, and students are encouraged to participate in various groups that fit their commodity.
Although the counseling staff will miss interacting face-to-face with students, they are optimistic about the outcomes and virtual connections that lay ahead.
“It can be a great way to join up with people that have like-minded needs similar to their own, to be able to hear from them. Groups are so helpful because it offers the students universality to help you see that you’re not alone in maybe whatever you’re experiencing,” she said.
To receive more information about UTC’s virtual support groups and instructions on how to attend, please visit https://www.utc.edu/counseling-center/groupsandevents.php or call the Counseling Center’s office at (423)-425-4438.