Content Warning: This article contains reference to suicide.
The Self Love Club encourages honesty, openness and self-care among students and provides opportunities to connect in a safe space and participate in charitable fundraisers.
Ireland White, a second-year studying psychology and president and founder of the Self Love Club, began the Self Love Club a few weeks into December. White said she thought the University needed an organization to boost student morale and self-esteem.
“Me and my mom had these conversations where we kind of planned things and one thing she said was like ‘Ireland, you should start a charity organization,’” White said. “There was also a decline in mental health, especially where I live, there was some suicides in our building. And even though you try to ignore it and try to keep your head down and keep going because you don't know the people, it still does affect the atmosphere.”
White said the mental state of many of her peers inspired her to direct the focus of her charitable organization to self-love and self-care.
“The whole point of the club is kind of just to be honest and talk to other people,” White said. “And to also raise money for charity, which is something I really want to do, and we're going to be doing that in a couple months.”
Luisa Cedono Perez, a third-year studying psychology and club designer, said the main goal of the club is to create a fun space for students.
“I just wanted to make the club something [students] feel comfortable in,” Cedono Perez said. “I know personally, from my experience, I tried to join clubs last semester and there have been people who already have groups, and I felt kind of isolated, if that makes sense.”
The club is currently planning a crochet and bracelet fundraiser in partnership with the NC State Crochet Club.
“We want to raise money for homeless shelters,” White said. “One charity that I'm really interested in is the not the Women's Center here at NC State, but the Women's Center in Raleigh that houses women who are in domestic violence situations and provide them with not only a stable [environment] but host sessions where they can craft and like garden and do other activities that are just like living.”
White said she hopes she can provide a space where students can get away from negative energy and can also support others. One of the ways the club encourages this is through group journaling.
“I hope that we get a lot more people coming into our meetings, where we journal and go based off of a prompt,” White said. “You get out of it what you put into it. I hope people will feel like it's a space where they can … get all that negative energy out. You don't have to talk to someone about it if you feel like it's super personal, but maybe just having a space where you feel people will support you. I hope that helps people.”
Cedono Perez said the club hosted a Power Point night where members could do a presentation on anything they wanted as well as a journaling night at the beginning of the month.
“Inclusiveness within the club is making this family have a safe experience but also fun experiences,” Cedono Perez said. “Our biweekly meetings vary from self-care and self-love. We found the other medium is just doing something fun.”
White said everybody is welcome at the Self Love Club and encouraged to participate.
“We're an inclusive club,” White said. “We accept literally everybody, which is kind of funny, because I feel like a lot of people kind of assume because it's a Self Love Club that has to just be women … but that's not the point. I just want to make sure that everybody knows that anyone can join in.”
The Self Love Club meets every other Thursday at 7 p.m. in Cox Hall room 204. More information can be found on their Instagram @ncsuslc.
If you or someone you know is having difficulty processing grief or having a mental health emergency, the Counseling Center can be reached 24 hours a day at 919-515-2423. If you are in a crisis situation and need immediate help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
The Counseling Center’s website offers free online screenings, a plethora of self-help resources regarding mental health and wellness concerns and a comprehensive list of campus services available for those who need guidance. To view an exhaustive list, visit counseling.dasa.ncsu.edu/resources.
If you’re seeking professional counseling or other mental health services on campus, visit the Counseling Center’s Getting Started page at counseling.dasa.ncsu.edu/about-us/gettingstarted to complete paperwork, set up an appointment and more.
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