By Justin Metcalf—Asst. News Editor

Now that students are halfway through the fall semester, deadlines for final projects, exams and papers are looming over our heads. As important as it is to stay focused, it is also important to take care of ourselves in these last few tiring weeks. As always, the counseling center on campus provides individual counseling for students with mental health concerns, but UTC also offers free, group-based counseling services every week to help students manage stress and other specific topics. All of the groups mentioned below are open to students unless otherwise stated. For more information on the groups and events, contact the counseling center at (423) 425-4438. 

To begin, MOVE is a three-session group-therapy program designed to help students identify what is important to them and “move” towards their goals. Participants can find solace with other college students dealing with stress, sadness and anxiety, and they can learn to better manage and cope with these concerns together.  

De-Stress and Refocus Mondays occurs between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. every Monday with the goal of helping students cope with stress and anxiety, develop their overall well-being and gain confidence. Also on Mondays, the support group for students of color meets at the same time, where students can safely discuss relationships, identity, differences and their overall experiences as students of color. This group is closed, but students who wish to join can contact the counseling center. 

On Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., LGBTQIA+ students can get together to explore gender identity, sexual orientation, relationships and other related topics in a safe and confidential environment. This group is also closed, but students can join by contacting the counseling center. 

Wednesdays, students can participate in Heartmath from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Heartmath offers students the opportunity to work with the emWave self-regulation technology. Practicing with this, among other self-regulation tools, has many benefits such as improved focus, impulse control, emotional resilience, attitudes and behaviors. 

Wandering Wednesdays is offered from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. every week with the goal of bringing students together. Here, students can explore more of themselves through activities such as mindfulness, art therapy and gardening. 

On Thursdays, the Grief and Loss support group also meets from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for students dealing with the loss of a loved one, job, partner or overall health. Participants can process the effects that grief has on the mind and body. FIERSE, which stands for Finding Inspiration, Empowerment and Resiliency through Self-Esteem, is a support group for women that also meets on Thursdays from at the same time. 

Whatever your concerns as a college student, there are numerous free resources on campus worth trying. Hopefully one of these groups can provide the support and empowerment you may need to finish the semester strong. 

For more information, visit the UTC Counseling Center’s website.

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