By Samantha Garza | Staff Writer
The Baylor Counseling Center will be hosting a Mental Health Awareness Day event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday on Fountain Mall.
Dr. Randal W. Boldt, a psychologist in the Counseling Center, said the event will have tables and booths offering multiple services. These include a depression screening and a suicide prevention training program. The Counseling Center has also partnered up with different on-campus organizations like student government, the Honor Student Advisory Council and Active Minds.
Boldt said the purpose of the event is to reduce the negative stigma around mental health struggles and to encourage students to be more open about the subject. He said it aims to make more people mental health allies.
The event will feature different games and activities, and the Counseling Center will be giving away stickers and providing attendees with information on resources. Boldt said they will also be promoting their telehealth services, which are available for students 24/7.
“Baylor takes mental health seriously and wants to make sure that every student has access to the services that it provides, so we’re out there to promote that,” Boldt said.
Boldt said it’s important for students to have events like these not only to learn about the services available to them but also to learn about how to help a friend or family member who may be struggling with their own mental health.
Katy senior and Active Minds president Nicole Wire said the organization will be assisting the Counseling Center to spread the word about a new program called the Mental Health Ally. She also said they will be providing more information on their organization during the event.
“Active Minds is a group of students that are passionate about spreading awareness about mental health through education, outreach and practicing ways to take care of ourselves,” Wire said.
Wire said the organization tries to actively promote mental health awareness outside of group meetings through its Instagram page.
“Each week, we post a prompt about goal-setting to help anyone who views our page to head into the week with a positive mindset,” Wire said.
According to Boldt, the Counseling Center will be providing a national suicide prevention training program. He said it will teach people to recognize the signs and symptoms someone may exhibit when struggling with or experiencing negative thoughts. Additionally, it will teach students how they can take care of that person and get them the help they need.
As many as 50% or more of college students had a screening that demonstrated some type of mental health concern, according to Boldt.
“We want to make sure that students who are experiencing suicidal thoughts know that we as a university are going to take care of them,” Boldt said.