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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program offers help for anxiety, depression, chronic pain

The University Fitness Center (UFC) is offering a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program to all Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine employees and students Jan. 28 – March 18. The eight-week, employer-sponsored wellness program will take place on Mondays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in UFC Studio 311. Registration is due by Jan. 22.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an evidence-based intervention that has been proven effective for multiple chronic conditions, including anxiety, depression and chronic pain. It also improves quality of life for healthy adults.

The program consists of an orientation session, eight 2.5 to 3-hour weekly group classes and one Saturday silent retreat that is 7.5 hours long.


Employees pay $250 at registration, and students and residents pay $200. The full tuition is $500, but the remainder of the cost is supported by the Benefits for Wellness Program when an individual attends six out of the eight classes and the Saturday silent retreat.

During registration, the employee agrees to a payroll deduction of $250 if they do not meet the attendance requirement.

Orientation Sessions:

  • Monday, Jan 7 – 6 p.m.
  • Monday, Jan. 21 – 6 p.m.

The orientation features an opportunity to meet the instructors, hear an overview of the course and participation requirements, learn about benefits and risks of the program and ask questions.

Silent Retreat: Saturday, March 9


Holly Socolow has been offering mindfulness programs in the Lancaster/Hershey/Harrisburg area for 12 years in health care, community and business settings. She was the MBSR facilitator for the women’s health research study for overweight women completed at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and published in August 2017. Holly has trained under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and is a Center for Mindfulness-Qualified MBSR Teacher through the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Tim Riley has been a practicing family physician for more than 10 years, and has been a member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center since 2012. After learning how mindfulness can impact provider well-being and quality of care at the University of Rochester, he became a Qualified MBSR Teacher through the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. He currently serves as the Department of Family and Community Medicine’s associate vice chair for wellness, and as the Office of Faculty and Professional Development’s co-director for well-being and burnout mitigation.

Contact Deb Tregea, UFC program coordinator, at 717-531-7075 for more information. Learn more on the UFC website.

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