The American Lung Association has paired with Passport to Wellness to provide weekly group therapy sessions on campus for smokers throughout the month of March.
The sessions are led by Santee Ezell, a representative from Passport to Wellness. Ezell, along with Janie Guyton Shields and Ashley Matthews, has been trained by the American Lung Association to hold these group therapy meetings.
“We wanted to provide support for our students. As we know, most of the time, people start to fit in like a social way or maybe physical or mental part of it. What we want to do [is] provide that support through these groups,” Ezell said.
Group therapy has been shown to assist individuals struggling in various aspects of life. Rachel Clair Franklin, a staff member of The W’s Counseling Center, spoke of the power that group therapy can have.
“One of the unique characteristics about group therapy is that it kind of provides you to an extension of accountability versus individual therapy. You have that sense of you’re not alone, so if you’re sitting in a group of people who are kind of experiencing the same thing you are, going through the same feelings and emotion, you don’t feel alone,” Franklin said.
Even with the shift to a tobacco-free campus on July 1, many members of The W community will face difficulties in quitting tobacco. People usually begin and continue smoking in a social setting, and for some, that setting was the campus of The W.
“All my friends smoked, so I would just bum a cigarette and started smoking more and more. Sometimes I go in and out on how much I smoke, you know. Sometimes I smoke 10 cigarettes a day, and sometimes I smoke one or two,” said Winnie Clegg, an honors student at The W.
The “Freedom from Smoking” group will meet Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. on the 4th floor of the Education Building.