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Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern School of Nursing helps reduce risks of mental health through Gratitude Club

Students in the Georgia Southern University School of Nursing received hands-on experience during the spring semester by working with SHINE Clubhouse, an organization in Statesboro that provides children ages eight through 16 with non-traditional mental health services. In collaboration, the nursing students initiated the Gratitude Club as a way to reduce risks for mental health.

Under the supervision of Assistant Professor Pam Worrell-Carlisle, Ph.D., six groups of nursing students created activities using the curriculum from Nurturing Gratitude from the Inside Out: 30 Activities for Grades K-8 (2017) developed by the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. The activities, designed to foster a sense of gratitude and to teach how acts of kindness lead to positive emotions for both the giver and the receiver, were then implemented at the Gratitude Club meetings.

“I strive to develop learning experiences where benefit flows to our students and also back into the community,” said Worrell-Carlisle. “Research shows gratitude can be effective in reducing risks for mental health disorders in both children and adults and finding something to be grateful for can be a way of increasing resilience to life’s challenges.”

Gratitude Club members created fleece blankets that were donated to the newborn nursery at East Georgia Regional Medical Center. Nursing students met an average of 14 children in the program approximately twice a month to complete the project.

After the blankets were completed, Assistant Professor Nikiya Lewis, DNP, assisted in organizing a field trip to the medical center to deliver the blankets that will be distributed later to families who are in need of blankets for newborns.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving nearly 26,500 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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