Second MindBody Lab opens in SAC

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Student Government President and Vice President Kevin Helgren and Binna Kim and mental health activists unveil the UTS’s sec- ond MindBody Lab, located on the second floor of the SAC.
Photo Credit: Alissa Jae Lazo-Kim | Daily Texan Staff

A second MindBody Lab opened Monday in the Student Activity Center just in time for finals week, when stress for college students can reach all-time highs.

 The lab features audio and video instruction on topics such as meditation and breathing exercises to help students improve their emotional and physical health, according to the Counseling and Mental Health Center website.

 MindBody Lab South ­— as Soncia Reagins-Lilly, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, refers to it — comes equipped with two recliners as opposed to the three in the original lab.

 Before the MindBody Lab was introduced in 2003, the CMHC had equipment to help students learn how to relax and decrease stress, said Chris Brownson, associate vice president for student affairs and director of the CMHC. In order to use the equipment, students had to schedule an appointment with a clinician each time.

 “I had the idea that we have a place students can come in on their own,” Brownson said. “Once they get a tutorial on how to use the equipment, they can come in anytime they want [and] not have to meet with somebody.”

 The opening of a second MindBody Lab was one of the main campaign points for Student Government President Kevin Helgren and Vice President Binna Kim along with advancing the conversation surrounding mental health.

“As college students and professionals who work along college students, we deal with mental health issues a lot more frequently than we care to admit,” Helgren said. “The idea behind normalizing what’s normal is to encourage people to have conversations about mental health, because that’s the only way people are going to be comfortable talking about the issues and embracing the differences all of us bring to the table.”

Helgren said SG is also continuing their Normalizing the Normal campaign into next semester with a weeklong event dedicated to making progress on ending mental health stigma, called “Stick It To Stigma.” They are also looking into opening another MindBody Lab depending on how the SAC location performs with students, Helgren said.

 Reagins-Lilly said the opening of the lab represents collaboration between students and faculty.   

 “I want the MindBody Lab to represent not only your health as you experience this campus and cope with the stressors of being in college and dealing with life, we also want it to be symbolic of the fact that you’re not alone,” Reagins-Lilly said. “You have individuals that are dedicated to you.”

 The second lab is open all week as opposed to the original lab, which is only open Monday through Friday. Hours vary by day. More information on the labs can be found on the CMHC website.