Counseling center event promotes mental health

Students make Valentines day cards at Hope Peace Love event in the BSB. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Rachel Smith | Reporter

Baylor Counseling Center hosted its second Hope Peace Love event Tuesday with a fair in the Baylor Sciences Building and discussions and events across campus.

During the fair, students played Healthy Relationship Bingo, made Valentines Day cards and learned about mental health awareness. Along with educational resources, students received free prizes, merchandise and food from Pokey-Os and Club Sandwich food trucks.

“We decided to do this on Valentine’s Day because we also want to encourage people to love themselves, and that means you take care of yourself, mental health included,” said Monique Marsh-Bell, senior psychologist and assistant director of community programming. “Then, we want people to love others, so you can make a valentine if you want.”

Marsh-Bell said the event is intended to educate students about mental health so they can be proactive in taking care of themselves, whether or not their mental health status requires individual counseling.

“This is something we do on the front end to help students learn how to take care of themselves and love themselves,” Marsh-Bell said.

The fair consisted of booths from the Counseling Center as well as organizations that focus on mental health-related issues. Baylor Active Minds, an organization that promotes mental health awareness and reduces stigmas surrounding mental health, offered stress-management tips.

Dallas sophomore Emily Apt, who is involved in All-University Sing, said she came to the fair because she was stressed.

“I wanted to find some stress-relieving options,” Apt said. “My favorite part of the fair is all the interactive parts.”

At a neighboring booth, Yoshiko Hall, psychologist and coordinator of multicultural services, discussed the Mobile Mind Body Lab, a feature of the Counseling Center that offers devices such as GSR2, RESPeRATE and Muse to teach stress-relieving techniques such as breathing more slowly.

“Mobile Mind Body Lab is a room that we’re trying to finish and starting to open where people can learn to relax using these devices,” Hall said. “[Stress relief techniques are] just a really good skill to have. It’s a skill that people can learn.”

Elsewhere on campus, students attended a showing of the movie “Inside Out,” signed up for a raffle and attended discussions about mental health, anxiety, minorities and prayer.

“We just want students to take care of themselves and take care of one another,” Marsh-Bell said. “Baylor is a community and a family, and part of what we do at the Counseling Center is helping students succeed here. To do that, we all need to be helping one another.”