NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Counseling Clinic at Stephen F. Austin State University will be hosting a free weekly tension, stress management and relaxation group starting at 3 p.m. July 1 via Zoom.

All are welcome to join the one-hour, open discussions and learn new relaxation techniques to better manage stress.

Research has shown that prolonged stress can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:

  • mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders
  • cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks and stroke
  • obesity and other eating disorders
  • sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
  • skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, eczema and permanent hair loss
  • and gastrointestinal problems, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastritis, ulcerative colitis and irritable colon.

Two counselors in training, Mai Lee Eskelund and Breuna Timmons, will facilitate the Zoom sessions. They designed the stress management group to teach participants skills for reducing and managing stress and creating opportunities that enhance self-care.

In addition to the free group, the clinic continues to accept new clients and waive fees during the pandemic.

Though in-person appointments aren’t possible because of COVID-19 concerns, the clinic is helping clients via Zoom from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. Appointments on Fridays can be made by calling (936) 468-1041.

Once the pandemic is over, the clinic will return to its usual fee system. Costs for community members are determined using a variable fee scale based on gross family income and family size ($5 minimum to $20 maximum per service). SFA students pay $5 per service.

The Counseling Clinic is part of the Department of Human Services and Educational Leadership in the James I. Perkins College of Education at SFA. It assists SFA students and community members while training graduate students who are in the practicum and internship portion of their education. These graduate students provide counseling services to clients under the supervision of licensed counselor education faculty members.

For more information or to sign up for the stress management group, contact the clinic at (936) 468-1041 or