Nicholls counseling center hosts Free Your Mind Fridays


Photo submitted by Elnora Vicks

Every other Friday, students at Nicholls State University have the opportunity to de-stress from busy college life and connect with other students on campus at Free Your Mind Fridays.

Elnora Vicks, who is a counselor and the outreach coordinator for the University Counseling Center, said that when she first began working at Nicholls, many students asked her what the counseling center was doing to provide students with information to help them stop suicide.

Vicks understood that Nicholls needed activities, workshops and presentations to provide students with information about prevention and awareness. 

Vicks said some of the biggest factors causing suicide are stress, anxiety and depression. She also said she looked for coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques to reduce the amount of this that students face.

Eventually, the concept of Free Your Mind Friday came about and was established with the intention of reducing stress levels in students through relaxing activities on Fridays to end the week off on a good note.

Vicks said that not only was Free Your Mind Fridays intended to give students a chance, once every other week, to destress through positive outlets, but it is also intended to reduce the stigmas behind mental health and learn independence in coping mechanisms that they can take home and use.

Each Free Your Mind Friday is every other Friday and it lasts from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The events consist of different activities, such as adult coloring, yoga, guided meditation, painting, journaling and many other things, intended to help students focus and reduce stress levels through simple, positive outlets. 

Vicks said she always provides students with informational papers so that they will be able to do the activities at home, as well as information about the counseling center and its events.

Most of the event ideas for Free Your Mind Fridays come from feedback students have given Vicks on what they feel will be most beneficial for them and other students. 

Vicks said that Free Your Mind Friday is not only good for students to destress, but it’s also a great way to connect with other students. She said that many students have become friends through the events because of the supportive atmosphere.

“The positive and uplifting feedback that the students share with each other, that amazed me,” Vicks said. “They didn’t know each other at all, but they were still there encouraging each other.”

Free Your Mind Fridays for the fall 2019 semester have all been scheduled and information on them can be found on the Nicholls Counseling Center’s social media pages or posted around campus.