Effects of a single-session, online, experiential happiness workshop on graduate student mental health and wellness

John Sommers-Flanagan, Jayna Mumbauer-Pisano, Daniel Salois, Kristen Byrne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Graduate students regularly experience anxiety, sleep disturbances, and depression, but little research exists on how to support their mental health. We evaluated the effects of a single-session, online, synchronous, happiness workshop on graduate student well-being, mental health, and physical health. Forty-five students participated in a quasi-experimental study. Students attended a synchronous 2.5-h online happiness workshop, or a no-workshop control condition. After workshop completion and as compared with no-treatment controls, participants reported significant reductions in depression symptoms but no significant changes on seven other measures. At 6 months, participants reported further reductions in depression symptoms. Moreover, across four open-ended questions, 37.0%–48.1% of workshop participants (a) recalled workshop tools, (b) found them useful, (c) had been practicing them regularly, and (d) used them in sessions with clients. Despite study limitations, single-session, synchronous, online, happiness workshops may have salutatory effects on graduate student mental health. Additional research is needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Humanistic Counseling
DOIs
StatePublished - May 28 2024

Keywords

  • depression
  • graduate students
  • mental health
  • single-session
  • wellness

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