January 16, 2019

Mindfulness, meditation for students

As colleges and universities attempt to respond effectively and efficiently to a dramatic increase in students feeling overwhelmed and experiencing high levels of stress, one Wayne State staff member has an offering in the here and now.

Randie Kruman, director of Student Disability Services (SDS), traveled to Duke University in October to be trained in the Koru Mindfulness curriculum for college students. Immediately upon her return, she offered her first class on how to use mindfulness, meditation and stress management to a dozen Wayne State students.     

Mindfulness is the process of bringing your attention to experiences occurring in the present. It is a discipline that can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.

The SDS provides academic accommodations, resources and training in assistive technology to foster self-advocacy and success for students with disabilities. Kruman views mindfulness training as a complementary service for students, especially at the beginning of semesters, when there can be a waiting list to receive help.

“Students come to us for testing accommodations for two hours a day, but what happens the other 22 hours? Their stress doesn’t go away, their anxiety doesn’t go away,” said Kruman. “Mindfulness is an important life skill that everyone can benefit from.”

The Koru curriculum was developed over a decade by Duke psychiatrists. A randomized, controlled trial of Koru found it helps students feel less stressed and more mindful, sleep better, and have greater self-compassion.

The program consists of four 75-minute classes that teach mindfulness meditation and stress-management skills. Students must also practice mindfulness for 10 minutes a day and keep a mindfulness log.

Kruman is offering Koru classes in January and February, but they are already at capacity. The next available class will be held March 6 through April 3 from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in Manoogian Hall, Polish Lounge Room 105.

Students suffering from anxiety and depression are encouraged to contact Counseling and Psychological Services for help.