University Health Service officials are bracing themselves for an overload of finals-related stress this year because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


While UHS counselors and doctors normally see an influx of stress patients as finals approach, they are already seeing signs that this year may be much different.


Rob Sepich, UHS team manager for student relations, said he is already booked through the year.


“This is heavier than normal,” he said. “There’s usually some openings.”


Sepich said colleges across the nation have reported “heightened anxiety” since the attacks, and fear some students may suffer academically.


“For some students it feels like one extra pressure,” he said. “It’s one of the main things [students] are concerned about.”


UHS has stepped up its availability to students for final exam time this year. With programs that range from stress-reduction techniques to counseling sessions, UHS employees said they are prepared.


Counseling and Consultation Services, a branch of UHS, will conduct a free workshop titled “Stressbusters: Relaxation Skills to Flourish During Finals,” which will take place at 3 p.m., Dec. 6 and 10, in Room B160 of the Counseling and Consultation Services building, 905 University Ave.


UHS also compiled a list of tools to aid students in combating stress.


These tools range from eating, sleeping and studying hints to urging students to seek help if they feel too overwhelmed.


Students interested in counseling or massage therapy should call 265-5600. The UHS stress-reduction tips can be found on the Internet at www.uhs.wisc.edu/ex/selfcare/resource/stresstips.php