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Major college now requires stress reduction, ‘trauma resilience’ training for all freshmen

Florida State University is now requiring stress reduction and “trauma resilience” training for all incoming freshmen and transfer students. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Florida State University is now requiring stress reduction and “trauma resilience” training for all incoming freshmen and transfer students.

The Student Resilience Project — an online “trauma resilience” training tool — will be fully launched later this month through the Institute for Family Violence Studies at the FSU College of Social Work, the university said in news release.

“Florida State University recognizes that some incoming students have experienced significant family or community stress,” said Karen Oehme, director of the Institute for Family Violence Studies. “Unmanaged stress responses can interfere with student success in college and cause long-term negative consequences.”

More from the release:

The FSU Student Resilience Project uses highly engaging animation, videos and numerous TED-talk style educational audio sessions from faculty and mental health providers. The training helps students build on their existing strengths and provides them with new strategies that promote health and teach crucial new resilience and coping skills.

Even if a student has never experienced trauma, the project helps prepare students to face future stressful situations and build skills to bounce back from negative experiences associated with change, grief and loss, frustration and stress.

“FSU recognizes the need to provide more tools to respond to the increasing mental health needs of our students,” said Sally McRorie, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “The project is open and frank about mental health topics our students may face and is intended to destigmatize and encourage seeking help.”

More from the news release:

Right now, freshmen can log on to watch short “What I Wish I Knew” videos of current FSU students talking about their first-year struggles and how they overcame them. The videos emphasize that while difficult experiences are common to everyone, students can get through them and there are resources on campus for every type of problem.

The website includes evidence-informed interventions, such as mindful meditation audios, music therapy and journaling tips, that help students manage stress and build coping skills.

What’s required of students in the training?

Once the training is fully rolled out later this month, an FAQ on the training notes that students will be required to:

  • watch the Introduction to Trauma and Introduction to Resilience videos
  • listen to at least two audios of the student’s choice
  • learn about one new skill in the skills section

What happens if students don’t take the training?

It appears a “hold” will be placed on students who don’t complete the training, the FAQ indicated. It isn’t clear what a hold entails in this particular case, but another part of the FSU website says a hold “restricts your actions within the university (e.g. registering for classes) until it is resolved.”

FSU on Tuesday didn’t immediately reply to TheBlaze’s request for comment on what a hold entails if the Student Resilience Project training isn't completed.

An exception

An FSU spokesman told Campus Reform that “students who have experienced significant trauma, such as the death of family or friends, may opt out if they are already receiving treatment or counseling that may also include stress management skills.”

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