The On the Road workshops offered by the University of Richmond’s Counseling and Psychological Services expanded and evolved in January to better support students and their organizations. 

The workshops are a wide range of sessions offered by CAPS, with topics varying from managing anxiety and practicing mindfulness to how to best help a friend in distress, to different clubs and organizations on campus.

“The workshops are a part of an initiative at UR Well to try to not just help people when they’re in distress or when things are breaking down, but also to help people stay well,” said CAPS director Peter LeViness.

The counselors require two weeks' notice to conduct the workshops. The workshops allow CAPS to reach a larger audience made up of not just students who actively use CAPS, but those who might not have considered using CAPS in the first place.

Sophomore Olivia Ronca thinks these programs could be useful.

“No matter how close a group of people may be, you never really know if someone could be struggling with mental health on the inside,” Ronca said. “It is always a good thing for people with or without mental illness to learn about how to help themselves and the people around them.”

Since their start in 2018, the On the Road workshops have been morphing to have more adaptable topics and a more expansive list based on participant feedback, LeViness said.

CAPS is decreasing the number of multi-session workshops and putting more of a focus on its one-session workshops because CAPS had received better feedback from participant about multiple sessions than about singular ones, LeViness said.

The counselors encourage any participant in the workshops to follow up for a personal session with a CAPS counselor if they find a session particularly interesting or beneficial, LeViness said, as CAPS offers many personal sessions similar to the workshop topics.

“We want to encourage behaviors that contribute to thriving and well-being,” LeViness said.

CAPS began this program after receiving inquiries from a sorority on campus about possible wellness sessions that could be conducted to help its members, LeViness said.

LeViness said the On the Road workshops had been very well received with mainly positive feedback from the various groups on campus the counselors had worked with.

“I think this program could be incredibly useful for pretty much any club, group or team on campus,” said first-year Bond Magevney. “With all the options offered, there is really something for everyone.”

LeViness said the counselors were considering offering specific programs at different points in the semester based on when they may be most beneficial to the student body.

The biggest struggle the counselors have encountered concerning the On the Road workshops is how to best inform students of their program offerings, Leviness said. He said the counselors were looking to extend the reach of the workshops through the use of social media and flyers with the help of their six CAPS interns who work with them yearlong.

Contact lifestyle writer Alex Sprouls at alexandra.sprouls@richmond.edu.