You are here

Student training event canceled due to Covid

by Brennan Thompson | Executive Editor

Shreveport, LA— An hour-long training session for VAR on Wednesday was canceled following a sharp rise in Covid, but will be back sometime soon with a downturn in Covid on LSUS’s campus.

“We are aiming for October and will keep everyone updated,” said Kendal Redel, director of counseling at LSUS’s Counseling Services. Redel planned for Sam Cannon, PhD to join as a guest for the event. Cannon works as a professor in the English and Foreign Languages area.

VAR works by three principles: validate, appreciate and refer. It starts by validating a person’s feelings and empathizing with him or her. Appreciate means thanking them for sharing feelings. Referring them to skills or support lines is the final step, such as a hotline or giving them simple techniques to help calm them down. This model touts its form as a freeflow conversation, shifting between different stages of VAR at any given point. It is not meant to be a substitute for psychological or psychiatric therapies.

The VAR technique has no specific creator. It was developed by a mental health awareness support group known as Active Minds. Alison Malmon created the group after the suicide of her brother, Brian Malmon.

Although the research into Active Minds is rare, a study conducted by researchers from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry indicated mental health groups like Active Minds have positive effects. 

While a date for the VAR lecture isn’t set in stone, October is the month to look on to. Newsletters from Counseling Services will be sent out with more information but if more is needed, contact the Counseling Services office at