Counseling center puts a twist on masks

Kylie Coats

Kaylie Hess, freshman, creates her emotion mask.
Kaylie Hess (left), a freshman at WSU, creates her emotion mask. (Kylie Coats Saunders / The Signpost)

The Shepherd Union Atrium was buzzing with activity last Friday and the Counseling and Psychological Services Center got in on the action by offering an opportunity for students to express themselves through a craft project.

The counseling center chose to do an interactive booth themed around Halloween. The emotion masks were designed for students to express the emotions they were feeling in a non-traditional and creative way. Students were also encouraged to create an additional mask depicting what they wanted to feel inside as well.

About a dozen people stopped by to create masks and many more paused to ask questions about the services the center had to offer.

Some students picked up on the momentum of the other participants and were inspired to create their own masks.

“There was a guy wearing a mask and I wanted to make one,” Kaylie Hess, a freshman at Weber State University, said.

Rudi Barrios, one of the center’s outreach program members, spoke about how she believes people are afraid to approach the center’s booth when their banner is up. Despite this, Barrios said she and other team members have had a lot of success interacting with students.

Barrios said that she was glad to have an opportunity to explain the center’s message to people when they stopped to ask questions.

“I’ve actually had people make appointments while I’m in the booth,” Barrios said. “And I’ll take them to go to the counseling center.”

Barrios said the booth had seen a lot of success so far and she hoped to see even more. The outreach members’ goal was to inform students that the Counseling and Psychological Services Center is for everyone, not just people with mental illnesses.

“People stereotype if you need counseling that there’s something wrong with you,” Barrios said. “Mostly a lot of the cases that the counseling center gets are just people who are stressed about their classes and relationship trouble.”

Staff members and the outreach team from the center encourage students to make appointments before anything becomes a big issue. They try to show that stereotypes don’t apply in their center, so students shouldn’t be afraid to make an appointment.

The center’s staff and team members are going to use the momentum gained from mental health awareness month to plan more events throughout the semester.

To make an appointment or for more information, visit their website or stop by the counseling center which is located on the second floor of the students services building.