Bluefield, VA – Bluefield University’s Center for Counseling and Wellness has unveiled a new space for the campus community, called the Mindfulness Space, with the help of the Virginia Counselors Association (VCA) Foundation. The space is designed for the campus community to learn healthy coping strategies for stress and practice mindfulness.
The idea for this space first came in Fall 2019 when Alan Smith, director of student thriving and success; Connie Elkins, assistant professor of psychology and human services; and Brandy Smith, assistant professor of education and counseling, saw the need for a space for the campus community to destress and practice mindfulness.
“We wanted the space to be easily accessible and in a quiet enough location, that students would be able to easily access a supportive space,” said Smith.
The group applied for a grant through the VCA Foundation and was awarded $700 towards the project in October 2019. The project was then delayed due to the pandemic.
As the new Director of Counseling and Wellness, Emily Cook got involved with the project. Cook credits the BU Maintenance team with bringing her vision for the space to life.
“I was very lucky to have the opportunity to pick out things I thought would work in the space, and the BU Maintenance team put everything together for me,” said Cook. “They were a huge help, and they brought the space to life. The science department has been incredibly supportive throughout this process, too.”
The Mindfulness Space is located on the second floor of the Science Center.
“Everyone can benefit from the Mindfulness Space,” said Cook. “Taking a break to slow down, focus on my breath, and soak in the sunshine is a great way to re-energize and power through the rest of the day. I hope everyone at BU takes those moments.”
The BU Center for Counseling and Wellness has a vision of health and happiness for everyone.
“We want students to be thinking about their mental health and prioritizing their wellness because we care about the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. We want to normalize a culture of wellbeing on campus, and the mindfulness space is another tool in which students can be supported,” Cook shared.
The mindfulness space is open to the campus community during the Science Center’s operational hours.