BFA’s Well Minded Wellness Group

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Caitl, Writer

Stress and Anxiety. Everyone deals with it at some point in their life, but not everyone knows how to cope with it. That’s why Ashley Olio and Marissa McFadden have decided to help teach students how to cope with the stress and anxiety that comes with being a teen. Ashlie Olio works in Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans’s guidance office and Marissa McFadden is a Northwestern Counseling and Support Services school-based clinician. 

Olio and McFadden started the Well Minded Wellness Group last year after noticing a pattern with the students that they met with. They noticed how the stress and anxiety of high school and being a teen can impact students. “We wanted to provide an outlet and brave space for students to have these vulnerable conversations with their peers and be able to connect with one another, while simultaneously working on ways to develop coping skills to combat the stress and anxiety they feel in their lives both at school and home,” Olio said. 

Olio and McFadden teach students how stress and anxiety can affect them physically, mentally and emotionally. “We want to share the information we have to strengthen positive healthy coping skills, executive functioning skills, how to engage in meditation, how to practice self care, when and how to access mental health supports, and encourag[e] self reflection,” Olio said.

Whether you deal with anxiety and stress regularly or not, this group is an opportunity to connect with others and to learn ways to help take care of yourself and your peers.

Olio and McFadden hold the Well Minded Wellness Group meetings virtually on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. at this link.