By Matt Kyle | Personal editor
The Baylor Counseling Center (BUCC) held its annual “Hope, Peace, Love” event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday on the first floor of the Baylor Sciences Building.
Students who stopped on their way to class could take part in activities such as decorating cookies, creating friendship bracelets, games and giving out prizes at the various tables set up for the event.
Dr. Esther Hooley, psychologist and coordinator of multicultural services at BUCC, said the goal of the event was to provide students with a space of peace in the chaos of college and to inform students about the resources offered by the BUCC.
“We wanted to be able to spend regular time with students outside of the therapy room and help reduce the stigma often associated with mental health or seeking therapy,” Hooley said. “It’s just before spring break. Students need that little boost to get to the finish line. Students may forget about their mental health or their physical health just because they have a to-do list. Taking time to reconnect with yourself, pause, and catch your breath — this can actually take you further into the week.
Hooley said each of the tables were built around the themes of hope, peace and love and were designed to engage students through fun activities and teach them strategies for coping with crisis. Mental Health.
“We have crafts and freebies and free food, games to play just as a break from the business of life, where I hope students can have a few moments where they experience something like peace or hope or love or learning about healthy relationships,” Holey says. “We will have these booths, but the hope is that students can engage with them and then take something from them and pass it on if they want to.”
Plano senior Ritu Bhatt, president of Active Minds, said Active Minds’ booth at the event was based on teaching students the importance of self-love through affirmations. Active Minds handed out tissue paper carnations and lollipops with positive and affirmative messages attached.
“We thought it would be nice to highlight not just the romantic love we see in February with Valentine’s Day, but with love and just loving each other,” Bhatt said. “It’s nice to know that your school and the people around you care about you, even if you don’t really feel that way.”
The Department of Wellness had set up a kiosk that handed out “gratitude journals” for students to write about things they were grateful for. Tustin, Calif., junior Anna Shipcott says filling out gratitude journals can increase positivity, self-esteem, and happiness, as well as improve sleep and reduce stress. She also said it was important to take a mental break.
“I think it’s important to have this type of event, especially in the BSB,” Shipcott said. “Just take time out of your day, focus on positive things and allow yourself a mental break and just be happy for a bit and not focus on what you have to do.”
Plano junior Ryan Priest said he stopped by the event because he was passionate about mental health and wanted to see what the BUCC was up to. He said he always tries to stay in the right frame of mind so he doesn’t get overwhelmed with school.
“[Being in the right state of mind] prevents burnout,” Priest said. “It reduces stress and makes school more enjoyable. It’s just nice to slow down and appreciate all the good things we have and to know that people are trying to do something good for us. Accepting something like this can also do you good.