BUCC’s Hope Peace Love event advocates for mental health

Baylor alumna Jennifer Sitton helps her three-year-old son, Ben make a valentine during the Baylor Counseling Center's Hope Peace Love event on Wednesday. Baylee VerSteeg | Multimedia Journalist

By Micaela Freeman | Staff Writer

The Baylor Counselling Center (BUCC) hosted their annual Hope Peace Love event fair on Wednesday (Valentine’s Day) in two campus locations to raise awareness for mental health.

The events were held in both the Student Union Building (SUB) and the Baylor Sciences Building (BSB) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair offered students opportunities to learn about the prevention of suicide, dealing with anxiety and stress, keeping a healthy mindset and maintaining healthy relationships.

Hope Peace Love offered many activities and booths such as Valentine’s Day card making, a viewing of the Dreamwork’s movie Trolls and free Chick-Fil-A along with a lecture on anxiety. It also offered activities in the BSB that included rock painting and door prizes.

Kyle Johnson, Baylor Counseling Center’s Initial Assessment Counselor, was at the Make a Valentine, Make a Difference booth in the SUB. Johnson said that the event was perfect for Valentine’s Day because of its advocacy for healthy relationships and mental health. He also was excited that the small act of making a valentine allowed students to participate in something that can be very meaningful.

Johnson was grateful to be apart of Baylor University’s Counseling Center. He was happy to use its platform for advocacy and awareness for healthy relationships while bringing holiday spirit into the mix.

“The goal of this particular event is to help students make a connection and proves that making a Valentine can be an act that shows that they care for someone and sometimes that’s really meaningful,” Johnson said.

The Hope Peace Love event fair created a fun holiday spirited atmosphere for students while advertising the BUCC and its resources.

Johnson is excited to have been given the opportunity to showcase the BUCC and tell students that he and the counseling staff at the BUCC are available for students for a variety of needs.

“I think it [each event in the Hope Peace Love fair] means knowing students are having different struggles and lets them know we are available and that we have resources,” Johnson said. “It helps me know that we are staying connected to our student population.”

Randall Bolt, BUCC’s Training Director and Psychologist also felt that the booth Make a Valentine, Make a Difference can be extremely meaningful for those who participate.

“This booth is using that premise that power of relationship can really make a difference when someone is struggling,” Bolt said.

Bolt said that the entire event had a large turnout and gave students information on the BUCC as well as brought holiday joy to the students who attended.

“I think it’s an opportunity for the counseling center to be more visible on campus,” Bolt said.

The BUCC is a Counseling Center for Baylor students with a 24 hour crisis hotline and medical staff for a wide range of mental health needs.

“The Counseling Services mission is to facilitate the educational experience and total development of students by reducing mental illness and distress and by enhancing mental health, well-being, quality of life, and optimal human functioning,” the BUCC says on their website.