Students design bars of soap to kick off stigma-free week at Westminster College on Tuesday. Attendees created soap for themselves as well as making bars to donated to Women Helping Women, a project lead by Junior League of Salt Lake City.
The homemade self-care event was hosted by Westminster’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) club. Soap was cut from a 25-lbs block, melted down and poured into molds for decorating with scents, colors and other ingredients.
NAMI President Annie Brown said volunteering is one form of self-care which is why they will be packaging up and donating many of the bars created at the event.
“[Women Helping Women] is an organization that is aimed at helping women become single mothers and they have a resource center so that is where we will be donating [the soap],” said Brown, a psychology major.
Char Craer, an attendant at the homemade self-care event, said self-care can also include taking care of your skin, staying hydrated and eating enough food.
“As a psych major, we all learn Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the first thing you have to take care of is your basic needs […] in order to get to the point where you can worry about your psych, your mental health,” said Craer, a psychology major. “You have to start small to be impactful to the big things.”
Katie Sadd, a philosophy major, said it is important to take time for self-care in a society prioritizes being busy or stressed, seeing that as a sign of status.
“Self-care is really important because it helps us to take a step back and to focus on ourselves and remember that to take a day off isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength in admitting when you need time to yourself,” Sadd said. “It’s that moment to help yourself kind of recollect your thoughts and take a minute to slow down, which is really important in mental health overall.”
Emily Fine, a first-year student, said it was important to have this event to bring friends together in a calm and relaxed environment to support mental health.
“Being ridden with anxiety is hard and this is kind of just a good calming exercise for someone to do — just making soap with friends,” Fine said.
Programing for stigma-free week continues with a screening of Resilience VIII: Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope, in Gore Auditorium Wednesday from 6 pm – 7:30 pm. Representatives from NAMI said popcorn and soda will be provided.