Support Groups: A Great Way to Manage Stress


Courtesy of the Lakeland Live Feed

The pandemic has put a lot of stress on the LRHS community, so Ms. Norton started a support group for students and staff who need it.

Lakeland Regional High School understands that this year has been tough on many students and staff, so the school, with the help of Ms. Kelly Norton, the student assistance coordinator, set up a virtual support group. Ms. Norton runs the support group at LRHS, along with her intern, Ms. Melissa Amaniera. You can contact Ms. Norton through the school website if you’re thinking about joining the support group. This group is held over a Google Meet and will run from 12:30 to 1:30pm on Wednesdays. 

The group helps students manage stress, especially during the pandemic. Ms. Norton stated, “The support group is important for the ‘regular world,’ which means that it is even more important during the pandemic.” Ms. Norton thought that this support group would help with stress levels, even before the coronavirus. This group can help lower stress levels, therefore causing better mental health, and better grades in school. Stress levels are higher than they have ever been, so learning, having these coping skills, and being able to use them is a very valuable tool when times become tough. Your stress level can affect all sorts of things, not just your mental health.. According to, being stressed can “suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.” This shows that being stressed can affect a lot more than we think. The LRHS virtual support group can help students and staff learn to deal with the stress of life in the present and prevent all these issues in the future.

The group mainly focuses on different mindfulness and stress relief techniques that group members can practice together. It teaches the members these techniques so they can use them on days where they are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or upset. Each support group meeting varies on the amount of members, but because it is fully virtual, it is easier for more people to join. That means that there is no limit to the amount of participants per group. Since this year has been so tough, Ms. Norton thought this support group would be beneficial to the students of LRHS.