The Wolverine Support Network (WSN) is a student-led peer support program developed by Central Student Government leaders in collaboration with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). WSN is designed to empower students to create a safe community in support of mental well-being and identity development. The peer-facilitated groups meet weekly and provide a place to discuss day-to-day stressors, build trust, and connect with students from all across campus. The Wolverine Support Network has over 40 WSN Leaders who co-facilitate the groups in teams of 2 or more, and there are groups scheduled almost every evening of the week, in multiple locations around campus.
WSN held its first group meetings starting in January 2015, and the groups have been a great success, with positive feedback from both members and facilitators. Starting in January, WSN Leaders have also been attending weekly training and supervision sessions with CAPS Staff Psychologist Karin Arizala, who is the CAPS liaison for WSN. The training sessions thus far have focused on creating safety and trust in the groups, dealing with challenging group dynamics, facilitator skill building, and supporting stress management. The training sessions are also a place for WSN Leaders to share ideas and successes, discuss any urgent concerns that come up in groups, and become more familiar with campus resources.
In addition to weekly group meetings, The Wolverine Support Network also hosts network-wide stress-busting activities on Fridays, such as a yoga and meditation “medley”. This provides another avenue for students to connect with others, meet new people, and to enhance wellness through fun and relaxation.
For students interested in joining The Wolverine Support Network as a group member, they can sign up at http://bit.ly/WSNMember. All members of the University of Michigan student community are welcome to join Wolverine Support Network.
The WSN leadership team and CAPS look forward to seeing WSN continue to grow and to reach even more students in the future, so we hope you spread the word throughout our campus community about all that WSN has to offer!