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U of M Students Will Reduce Stress and Promote Good Mental Health on National Stress Øut Day University News
For release: April 6, 2009

For press information, contact Brandy Hunter, 901-351-4734

Cramming for finals is practically inevitable. Even if you’ve gone to class and taken notes, you haven’t exactly been studying the material every weekend. Your heart starts pounding just thinking about essay questions. You worry that you’ll get sick from stress.

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your grades, which is why the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and Active Minds Inc., with support from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, are sponsoring National Stress Øut Day.  Active Minds at the U of M will hold a Study Break Oasis on Thursday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Panhellenic Building to provide pre-finals stress relief and educate students about the difference between everyday anxiety and an anxiety disorder or other mental illness.  Free massages, refreshments and door prizes also will be provided.

The U of M event will also feature a workshop on relaxation techniques conducted by Dr. Yolanda Harper, assistant vice president for student development, and an interactive Mandala presentation given by AmeriCorps’ Project TLC.  Stress relief information and activities will be provided throughout the day by other participating organizations, including the Counseling Center, Memphis STEPS (Suicide Prevention, Training, Education, and Prevention Services) and the Student Health Center.

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. Forty million U.S. adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 75 percent of them experience their first episode of anxiety by age 22.  National Stress Øut Day is even more important in light of a 2008 survey that found that 80 percent of college students say they frequently or sometimes experience stress.

The Associated Press and mtvU survey also found that three percent of students have felt depressed at some point during the past three months, 13 percent have been diagnosed with a mental health condition such as an anxiety disorder or depression, and nine percent have seriously considered suicide in the past year.

For more information about Stress Øut Day or about anxiety disorders, call Brandy Hunter at 901-351-4734, Lauren Pauer at 240-485-1018, or Alison Malmon at 202-332-9595, ext. 101.


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