BYU-Idaho’s HOPE Council promotes emotional wellness and helps students better understand the wide variety of resources available to them.

Shanna Hunt, the director of the council and a senior at BYU-I, shares her experience working with HOPE.

There are mental health resources on campus that aren’t just counseling,” Hunt said.

The HOPE Council helps students access those resources.

“I feel like a lot of people think that, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m struggling, I have to see a counselor,'” Hunt said. “And then once a counselor says, ‘you know, we’re booked’ or they get filled up, they get really discouraged.”

HOPE trains its volunteers to understand and assist others in accessing available resources. Hunt started as a volunteer five semesters ago and worked in a variety of different roles, ultimately becoming the HOPE Council’s director this semester.

“If (students) want to be involved, there are lots of opportunities to be involved,” Hunt said. “It just kind of depends on what they’re interested in.”

In the Wellness Center, students learn from wellness coaches through workshops and lessons that cover anything from financial mentoring to exercise plans. The HOPE Council provides mental health training for these coaches who then incorporate this into their goal of promoting a “balanced, happy life.”

Training by professional therapists is held each Friday from 2-3 p.m. in Chapman Hall 114. There are also opportunities to participate in weekly booths with the HOPE Council on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For questions about volunteering or getting involved, the HOPE Council can be contacted at hopecouncil@byui.edu.