Black UT Austin Students Create Wellness Week for Mental Health Awareness
By Edly Termilien
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas – Dozens of women came together at Pease Park Conservancy on Oct. 1 to celebrate self-love.
The students are part of the Black Women’s Wellness Organization (BWWO), which strives to create a positive environment to support Black women’s wellness and academic and professional success.
BWWO hosts a week of events once a year in conjunction with Mental Illness Awareness Week, which is the first full week of October, and World Mental Health Day is on Oct.10. This year’s activities included Mocktail Monday, a Ways to Practice Wellness campaign on Tuesday, Hot Girl walks, and friendship bracelet-making on Wednesday, a boba tea party on Thursday, a Cinema and Chill event on Friday, and a wellness picnic on Sunday.
Tyler Cain, a BWWO co-president, said Wellness Week is crucial for Black women on campus because the community does not have many spaces to discuss their struggles.
“No one really goes to the same things like we do, and we can kind of just all kind of understand each other and unite on a common ground,” Cain said. “So it’s really important to be able to share our culture.”
Cain said self-love is the most important love a person can have.
“Love yourself first before you can try and give love to anyone else because you are building the matter,” Cain said.
This year’s picnic’s theme was a fairy garden with earthy tones and soft, neutral colors. The women participated in Black Culture Bingo, a hula hoop competition, and painted landscapes. The winners received prizes.
BWWO social media chair Joy Richardson said a fairy picnic is her favorite theme.
“I’m a very whimsical person. I love earthy stuff and the environment,” Richardson said. “It’s just really fun, like Tinkerbell and Winx Club.”
BWWO leaders said they hope to continue this event for many years to come.