Event to focus on mental health and relaxation activities


Sage Smith/ Iowa State Daily

The design featured on a “Build Your Own Mental Health Kits” poster displayed in the Memorial Union. The mental health focused event will be hosted by Iowa State’s Student Union Board on Wednesday.

Sage Smith

A “Build Your Own Mental Health Kits” event hosted by Iowa State’s Student Union Board will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Oak Room of the Memorial Union.

The “Build Your Own Mental Health Kits” event was put together and organized by two members of Student Union Board’s executive board.

The members are Student Union Board’s multicultural awareness co-directors: Reed Blanchard, junior in world languages and cultures, and Diego Bonilla, sophomore in event management.

“Students will be building their own mental health kit and they have the options to put in snacks, little fidget-like toys, little animals, erasers, Play-Doh, Kleenexes […],” Blanchard said. “They don’t need to bring anything. We’ll provide boxes to put their stuff in, all the materials, so they really just need to show up. […] Just come and take a break from all the tests and stuff happening right before Thanksgiving break.”

Those who attend the event will have the chance to de-stress during their school day by building their customized mental health kit.

Iowa State’s Student Wellness Tap Room will also be present at Wednesday’s event to provide various relaxing activities such as guided meditation, coloring books and Lego building.

The Tap Room is a relaxation program created by Student Wellness for students to participate in relaxing and stress-reducing practices.

The Tap Room is usually a space set up in Parks Library under the staircase but can be requested for events like “Build Your Own Mental Health Kits” through a program request form found on the Student Wellness website.

Blanchard said when he and Bonilla were deciding on what to do for the event, they wanted something focused on LGBTQIA+ equality or mental health. They chose a mental health focus to raise awareness about the importance of mental health issues.

“We feel that as college students, mental health isn’t really covered or talked about as much as it should be on campus,” Blanchard said. “[…] For the [Memorial Union] being kind of a central point on campus, we think that it was a great idea to have students come out. […] A lot of college students do suffer from mental illness. So, hopefully this [event] will bring awareness to that.”

Those wanting to attend the “Build Your Own Mental Health Kits” event can come and go as they please and stay as long as they choose. All Iowa State students, faculty, staff and members of the Ames community are welcome to attend the event with no charge.

For those interested in having the Student Wellness Tap Room attend their future event or planned activity or wanting more information about the program, visit the Tap Room page on Iowa State’s Student Wellness website.