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Book club offers mental health support to faculty, students

Posted at 7:33 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 20:33:54-04

Millions of people struggle with mental health every day, and many of them find the answers they are looking for in the pages of a book.

At Texas A&M Central Texas, faculty and students are working together on mental health and they’re using this book to do it.

A large portion of the population enjoys reading and being part of book clubs so ... it’s no mystery why folks at the university do too.

"The book club is good for us and for people that need to be reading. Reading is good therapy for our time and our souls,” said one book club member.

The book club at the university is currently reading "Furiously Happy" by Jenny Lawson.

”The librarians had given three different books as options to the counseling center, and they chose 'Furiously Happy' because it dealt with mental health and depression.” said Lisa Hopkins, Librarian at Texas A&M Central Texas.

It's not only the book that makes this book club special.

This is also the first time the university has offered a book club that both students and faculty could be part of together.

”It was important for us to include students this time because of the fact that mental health is such an important topic that affects all of us and we really wanted to be able to have their input and feedback,” said Michelle Shea, librarian at Texas A&M Central Texas.

The unique opportunity of faculty and students being on the same level isn’t lost on anyone in the group.

Breaking down the dynamic of professor and student reinforces the topic and adds another layer to the mental health and healing of group members.

”Having the students have the opportunity to interact with faculty as people instead of student/faculty, that relationship. I think that’s really important,” said Hopkins.

This is the first book club through the university's library that included both faculty and students and they’re all looking forward to similar opportunities in the future.