Student Government initiative will bring new MindBody Lab to SAC

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Photo Credit: Rachel Zein | Daily Texan Staff

Students studying for their finals in the Student Activity Center won’t have far to go to find a space to manage their stress, if a Student Government initiative to open a new MindBody Lab goes as planned.

The MindBody Lab is a self-paced environment designed to help students explore resources for improving their emotional and physical health. Most of the material in the lab is self-guided and experiential, meaning students can follow along and practice skills as they are discussed.

The SG initiative was proposed in order to make the resource, which is already available in the Student Services Building, more accessible to students across campus. SG and the Counseling and Mental Health Center’s goal is to have the lab available for students to use before the end of the semester.

Mental health was a major focal point of SG President Kevin Helgren and Vice President Binna Kim’s campaign in the spring. Helgren said SG wants to “normalize what’s normal.”

“Mental health is something that college students across the board deal with, but also something that college students across the board aren’t super comfortable talking about,” Helgren said.

So far, Helgren said things are going smoothly and said he will do everything he can to make the lab available to students before finals.

Elana Bizer, integrated health counselor at the CMHC, said the center supports the initiative.

“The MindBody Lab continues to be very popular amongst students on campus,” Bizer said. “But one of the challenges we face is that we’re all the way in North Campus …. Having one in the building that receives the most traffic anywhere on campus is a wonderful idea and will extend the reach of the benefits of the MindBody Lab.”

The current lab in the SSB contains information and guided exercises on breathing, meditation, muscle relaxation and more. Once students learn what tools are helpful for them, they can continue to return to the lab or figure out ways to access those tools in their daily lives.

The new MindBody Lab in the SAC will be very similar to the current one, featuring the most popular tools from the SSB version, Bizer said.

Communication studies sophomore Steven Santoyo said he’s visited the MindBody Lab in the SSB before.

“It was just what I needed,” Santoyo said. “Just 15 to 30 minutes of putting everything in perspective and reminding yourself that you can do something is all it takes sometimes to get you through the day.”