By Joseph Hernandez
Connecting with fellow students and making simple crafts were the focus of the Thursday “Do-It-Yourself Stress Ball Workshop.”
The workshop was organized by members of the The East Los Angeles College Basic Needs Center and the Screening & Treatment for Anxiety & Depression Program.
The STAND program is a partnership between ELAC, University of California, the city of Los Angeles and the LA County Department of Mental Health.
They want to provide a confidential support program that’s free for most students.
The ELAC Basic Needs Center provides for a student’s basic needs like food, transportation, personal care, mental health and housing.
A member of the STAND program said the workshops are put together to show what help and resources students at ELAC can use.
During the workshop, people encountered problems with the Orbeez, which are little balls of gel.
They would bounce all over the place if they were spilled by accident. Balloons would rip if overstuffed and squeezed too much.
Besides these very minor problems, people were enjoying the workshop. It’s easy to make a stress ball; you simply pour orbeez into a balloon.
The workshop was full for its duration. New people would replace those that left.
Some people knew about the workshop through social media, while some found out about it by simply passing by the room and wanting to join in.
Each table had the materials needed to make a stress ball.
By the end a total of 16 students participated in the event.
During the workshop, a student accidentally let go of a balloon filled with air. It flew around the room for a bit but then nearly hit someone.
No one got in trouble or hurt, but people did start to laugh and the person that was almost hit was laughing too.
Students said they would participate in future stress-relief workshops.
Students at the workshop said it helped them relieve stress and get their minds off problems they had.
Jason Hein said the event was a reflection of daily living.
“Life is like making these stress balls, you put one Orbee at a time, because if you do too much then it’ll pop the balloon. With life, if you do too much at the same time, your mind can pop too,” Hein said.
Hein said the workshop helped him make the connection and gave him a new perspective on life
A student at the event who didn’t want their name featured said, “It’s not just the stress balls that helps, but getting to meet and talk to people that really helps.
“You could go so long making a stress ball and it would be boring, but talking to people while making them is the fun part.”
Members of STAND laid out snacks for students to enjoy while making the stress balls.
In the background, music was playing through a speaker brought by members.