Weber State University is partnering with the Utah Strong program to offer a series of classes geared towards helping people handle COVID-19 stress.
The courses began March 30 and will run through April 21 and cover topics such as managing stress during the pandemic, mindfulness and understanding stress and how it affects the body. Classes are offered with a variety of daytime or evening and virtual or in-person options.
According to Community Education’s webpage, the purpose of the courses is to improve mental health and overcome challenges during a time of immense worry and stress.
Stuart Boyd, a marriage counselor and former WSU employee, is the main instructor and will be joined by co-instructors Debbie Tolton and Dennis Perkins.
Participants do not have to be a WSU student or graduate in order to attend the courses.
The Utah Strong Crisis Counseling Program was developed in July to help people find ways to cope with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is operated by the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health in the Department of Human Services and provides free crisis counseling services through virtual outreach, public education, emotional support, information, referral and community outreach.
Community Education also offers other classes: You, Too, Can Become a Fiction Writer; Amateur Drone Operation; Piñata Making; Criminal Profiling; How to Create Cartoons and Graphic Novels and more.
According to Community Education Center Director Luis Lopez, a committee helps make the decisions about which classes to offer. The committee also considers feedback and suggestions from previous students.
“Our goal is to serve the lifelong learning needs of the community, to keep education at the forefront of people’s lives,” Lopez said.
Lopez credits the team of people throughout the community education division that help create the classes every semester.
“Before the pandemic, we were never able to offer classes that were fully online,” Lopez said. “We’ve learned that people don’t mind learning online, so now we plan to continue teaching online even after the pandemic.”