UCC Works to Make Mindfulness Accessible


Sydney Stam

(Graphic by Sydney Stam | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Allison Stuart, News Writer


The University Counseling Center has resources and staff dedicated to providing therapy and other services to students. One source is the Mindfulness Center which has been adding new mindfulness classes for students to utilize.

On their website, the Mindfulness Center describes the practice as, “Paying attention to what is happening during each moment of your life. In a basic way, mindfulness gives us the ability to wake up to our life and stop the automatic way of living, which disconnects us from our body, mind, and relationships.”

The classes are varied in topics, but include sessions for depression and anxiety. They are open to graduate, undergraduate, first generation, neurodiverse and BIPOC students.

One class that is offered is the drop-in mindfulness sessions, which are held throughout the week in order to provide students with a break.

We thought that it would be helpful for students to have a quiet space where they could spend a few minutes, engaging in a mindfulness practice that will help ground them, maybe help them cope with stress better or take a break from the everyday business,” said Licensed Staff Psychologist Luana Nan.

These mindfulness classes are taught by a revolving group of counselors and interns of the UCC, and utilize skills to manage stress and slow down the mind.

Nan said these classes are open to any student who is in need of them.

“I would recommend anyone who’s interested in learning, especially practicing some skills that can help them cope with stress better and also be more fully present in what they do,” Nan said.

Students attend the sessions virtually by joining a Zoom meeting. These sessions are free to students, and can be attended as many times as needed.

Angela Pham, a UCC intern, said the classes have previously seen low attendance, due to reservations about a group mindfulness practice.

If you’re nervous about it, then that definitely makes sense,” Pham said. “I think something that students don’t know is that they’re on Zoom, so they are pretty accessible and you can have your camera off — you’re like completely private.”

Pham also said the UCC works to ensure safety and privacy in these sessions.

“We do it on HIPAA compliant Zooms, and so it’s just like an opportunity for you to take a break,” Pham said. “You can just do the meditation, take a little bit out of your day from running around campus, and just enjoy yourself.”

According to Nan, there are several academic benefits to practicing mindfulness such as improving academic performance significantly.

“It contributes to better focus, higher effectiveness in studying, reading and comprehension,” Nan said.

Classes are offered four days a week, Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. MDT, and Tuesday and Thursday sessions at 5 p.m. MDT The classes run every week, excluding school breaks and holidays.

Pham said the sessions have helped her stay grounded even when things get stressful.

I just get to sit and guide other people in a relaxing meditation,” Pham said. “In some ways it’s like meditating myself, so being able to take that break, and taking that pause in your day to take care of yourself, is really important.”

The Mindfulness Center is located inside the Student Services Building, room 344. They can be found online as well.


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