Six new workshops, a part of the GROW@OC program, will equip Okanagan College students with the tools they need to be resilient amid the COVID-19 pandemic. First session takes place Sept. 17, 2020. (Contributed)

Six new workshops, a part of the GROW@OC program, will equip Okanagan College students with the tools they need to be resilient amid the COVID-19 pandemic. First session takes place Sept. 17, 2020. (Contributed)

Okanagan College’s new online supports builds resilience amid COVID-19

New online counselling initiative eases high anxiety brought on by pandemic, online learning

The start of a new semester of college is challenging enough, but in the midst of a global pandemic, anxieties are high. To alleviate some of the anxiety, Okanagan College’s Counselling Services has created a new opportunity online to connect with its students and build resilience.

GROW@OC is the college’s newest counselling program that offers virtual drop-in group sessions where students will be equipped with practical tools and strategies to become a more proactive student.

“Now more than ever there is a need for tools and strategies that help to foster our resilience and to support our mental health and wellness,” said Samantha Johnson, a counsellor for OC’s Salmon Arm and Revelstoke centre said.

Designed with OC students in mind by OC counsellors, the six workshops offered through the fall semester will set students up for success in a semester that will involve a lot of learning online.

The workshops will be held every other Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. until the end of November. Each will have a unique focus and students can sign up for as many sessions as they would like.

In addition to the hour-long session which will be formatted like an interactive webinar, there will be an optional 30-minute time afterwards for students to stay and connect, discuss and ask questions.

“One of the silver linings of going online as an institution is the opportunity we have been provided to bring students together across all of our campuses and to create community in unique ways that we haven’t before,” Johnson said.

The idea behind GROW@OC was sparked when the counselling team was thinking of how to provide more variety in their supports to students. As many of the classes move to online, it made sense to move this tool in that realm as well.

“We’re very aware of what an isolating experience it can be for students studying online right now,” Penticton campus counsellor Sarah Lefebure said. “GROW@OC is the result of our collective recognition of the importance of community. Even though we can’t meet in person, we can still connect online and help each other to grow our resilience and wide-awake learning.”

The first session takes place Sept. 17. This will be an introduction to the program with all OC counsellors present.

During the session, students will have a chance to learn each counsellor’s top tips for a successful semester and hear from them personally about what’s been helping them to navigate the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Counselling appointments are open to students and are currently being offered through online video-chat sessions. To register for GROW@OC workshops, visit okanagan.bc.ca.

READ MORE: Mr. Pretzels confirms COVID-19 at Vernon mall

READ MORE: Okanagan College student designs map tracking spread of COVID-19 in B.C.


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

College

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP cruiser. (File photo)
Alberta, Chase residents handed driving prohibitions from RCMP

Drivers fail alcohol screening device tests

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

The Pioneer Lodge Care home is hoping the community can cross some things off their residents’ Christmas lists. (Kari Shea/Unsplash)
Salmon Arm care home seeks gifts to ease Christmas isolation for seniors

Trees going up with gift tags listing item suggestions for residents of Pioneer Lodge

The Sicamous Fire Department has postponed their annual toy drive to Dec. 13. (File photo)
Sicamous and other Shuswap fire departments postponing toy drives

Due to a provincial health order, toy drive is being pushed back to Dec. 13

Resident wants City of Salmon Arm to take action to eradicate rat population in town. (File photo)
Salmon Arm resident demands action to eradicate rats

City posts more information on social media, will consider more action at budget time

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP searched for a suspect in Polson Park following an assault on a woman Thursday, Nov. 26. (Morning Star file photo)
Public warned after woman assaulted in Vernon’s Polson Park

RCMP on the hunt for suspect, described as in his 30’s

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

The Rutland IGA is located in Willow Park Shopping Centre at 590 BC-33. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Customer asked to mask up, throws hot coffee at Kelowna IGA employee

The woman grabbed cat food on her way out when she refused to wear a mask

City of Armstrong Public Works Yard. (Google Maps)
Armstrong city staffer threatened in snow removal complaint

Community services manager says ‘veiled threat’ is believed to have been flippant, but is being taken seriously

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

Most Read