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3 timely classes help you support yourself and others in uncertain times

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The University of Wisconsin–Madison noncredit classes in Continuing Studies are known for their rigor, relevance and usefulness. That’s no different now. Even during a global pandemic, we’re finding ways to bring you the information you need to help you improve your life and your workplace and support other people in your community.

Here are three upcoming fall classes that address timely needs:

Expertly handle stress

As we all continue to face challenges brought on by the pandemic—workplace change and uncertainty, lack of childcare options, schools going online and more—we continue to deal with stress in our lives.

In Resilience and Stress Management Skills, instructor Kay Lawrence will help students gain a deeper understanding of the role and cause of stress. Participants will explore multiple skills and approaches for managing stress and being resilient in today’s workplace.

One former student said of this class, “I realized that I may be more resilient than I think! And I learned to recognize my signs of stress and work to address them early.”

Students will be able to use what they learn immediately in their personal and professional lives to identity stressors, collaborate on solutions, define resilience and share strategies to assist managers and staff with work-related stress.

Resilience and Stress Management Skills takes place Wednesday, Oct. 21, 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m. live online. Register here.

Navigate moral challenges

The pandemic raises unprecedented questions for communities across the world, such as, How should we allocate medical resources in times of scarcity? and Should private corporations be required to share proprietary information in order to increase PPE supplies, life-saving respirators or vaccines?

In the interactive class Pandemic Ethics, instructor Aaron Yarmel will share tools from philosophy helpful in navigating these and other difficult questions.

“Many people are uncomfortable having discussions with others who disagree with them about controversial ethical issues,” Yarmel says. “Instead of thoughtfully engaging in these discussions on terms of collaboration and equality, they respond in anger or avoid the conversation entirely by agreeing to disagree. After taking this course, you will be better equipped to foster productive conversations with people.”

Students will learn how to break down complicated ethical issues into manageable questions about tradeoffs between values, such as dignity v. autonomy, free speech v. informed speech and stability v. progress. They will also learn methods from philosophy that are helpful for finding more reasonable answers to these questions.

Pandemic Ethics will include live online lectures as well as discussions with the instructor and other learners, Thursdays, Oct. 29-Nov. 19, 7-8:30 p.m. Register here.

Learn how to support teens

“Remember what it was like when you were growing up? Adolescence is a time of confusion, a place where bodies change and identities are tried on like Halloween costumes,” says instructor Louise Stanger. “Now let us quadruple the confusion as we are living in a pandemic.”

In her class, Generation Z, Anxiety, Depression, Substance Use, and COVID-19, Stanger will explore the impact of the pandemic on teens. She will teach behavioral health professionals to describe and explain the “pandemic generation” and be able to discuss major issues that face them, such as anxiety and depression, bullying, vaping, texting, self-harm, teen suicide and the roles of families. The class will provide evidence-based strategies to build resiliency and move from fear to hope.

“Parents have a hard time navigating their teens and teens often have a hard time navigating the world,” Stanger says. “This course will explore how parents may help their children grow and give them freedom without being helicopters, steamrollers, submarines or snowplows.”

She adds that the course will help professionals who work with teen populations find positive strategies to connect with teens, including talk, art, music, outdoor activities and other therapeutic interventions.

Generation Z, Anxiety, Depression, Substance Use, and COVID-19 will take place live online Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, 12-3 p.m. Register here.

UW–Madison Continuing Studies offers many more classes and programs to meet your needs in a changing and challenging world. From an Advanced Dementia Care Specialist Certificate to Writing Your Picture book—with a host of professional development and personal enrichment opportunities in between—Continuing Studies is a place to go for lifelong learning, no matter what life brings your way. Search our catalog of offerings.