Promoting Body Positivity On Love Your Body Day

Maria Barragan, Reporter

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In efforts to provide relaxation during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, California Lutheran University Interim Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Beth Turner offered an opportunity for students to relax, make essential oils, share positive messages on a mirror and enjoy snacks in Kingsmen Park on Friday Feb. 7.

“In the past for outreach around [eating disorder awareness week] was providing screeners for people to see if they had an eating disorder, but we changed it to ‘Love Your Body’ day to promote more of a body positivity theme,” Turner said.

During the event, CAPS highlighted the diversity of body images, and discussed the importance of accepting and appreciating everyone’s own physical appearance.

“This is a way to promote health and wellbeing, taking care of your body, which is why we have all the different activities for students to participate in and show gratitude for what their bodies can actually do for them,” Turner said. “We are also aware there are a lot of food insecurities on campus too, so having snacks out is really important.”

First-year Shyenne Francisco, stood in front of the mirror and wrote down the words “I am awesome,” which she said was primarily to encourage how she wanted to feel mentally and physically. She said her words of encouragement should be viewed as motivation for others rather than the perception that they are just directed to herself or one person.

“When the students boost their confidence, they are able to perform better and are able to have a healthier and happier life,” Francisco said.

During the event, Cal Lutheran students Olivia Onnen and Erica Gaertner spoke out on how influential they believe CAPS is for the campus community. Onnen said CAPS has been beneficial for her in her personal troubles.

Gaertner said CAPS could do more, “maybe expand it, make more time and add more counselors because I have heard that it gets busy and this could be a way to improve it.”

According to the website, CAPS on campus offers free-of-charge services for individuals, including individual therapy, group therapy, relationship therapy, outreach and consultation. Along with the in-office services, CAPS also offers a variety of services such as workshops, presentations, tabling events and mental health screenings.

“I think there’s a limit of eight times per semester but sometimes they are so busy that you can’t get in eight times a semester so if it was more expanded more students could get more mental help,” Onnen said.

CAPS is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and again from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. CAPS services are located at 3222 Luther Avenue. Emergency hours are also offered Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.