Peace, Hope, Love event breaks stigma on mental health

The Counseling Center hosts the Hope Peace Love event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 26, in the Barfield Drawing Room. Through this event the Counseling Center provides resources and programs that emphasize HOPE, PEACE and LOVE. Brittney Matthews | Multimedia Editor

By Sarah Pinkerton | Staff Writer

With a goal to break the stereotypes around mental health on campus and give students tips on how to cope with stress, the counseling center hosted an event titled “Hope, Peace, Love” Wednesday in the Barfield Drawing Room.

Working with various campus partners, this is the fifth year for this event to be held on campus. There were nine interactive booths for students to visit, each with different information on mental health and wellness.

These booths were strewn around the room and focused on healthy eating, stress and anxiety reduction, self-love, myths and facts about suicide, body awareness and healthy relationships. Alongside this, there was a photobooth, free t-shirts and sandwiches and staff from the counseling center to talk to.

Dr. Brooke Hill-Allen, assistant director for community and diversity programs, said that this event provides a way for students to engage with counselors, not in their offices, but still with a focus on important topics.

“Mental health is becoming more and more of a focus on college campuses,” Hill-Allen said. “For many years there was a lot of stigma around it and there was not much talk. The counselors were there, but people weren’t really talking. Times are changing and we are really talking about it and wanting to ensure students are aware.”

Baylor FitWell held a booth that offered blood-pressure screening and healthy recipe cards as well as chair yoga. This allowed students to participate in a 3-5 minute group stretch and learn ways to stretch on their own after a long day of sitting in class.

Kelsey Stevens, FitWell graduate apprentice said that she hopes students can learn de-stressing moves for class time and study time.

“We hope that, if they don’t know about us, they know about us after today and about our great programs on campus,” Stevens said.

Not only did this event provide students with information, but it also allowed many groups on campus, focusing on mental health, to get their name out to students who may need to seek their services in the future.

Hill-Allen said that the ages of 18-21 are typically the onset age for many mental health related illnesses. This event provided a way for students to get insight into this need for overall health and wellness.

“College is stressful and so it creates some anxiety and stress that’s coming up so we want to make sure we’re having those conversations with students so that they’re not only having a great academic experience here but at Baylor but we’re also focusing on them, the person, spiritual, emotional, physical health,” Hill-Allen said.