Opening up your minds

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By Shalini Singaravelu

Active Minds is a national organization that works to change the conversation on mental health on college campuses. Our goal is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues by raising students’ awareness of mental health issues, providing them with resources and information about mental illness and mental health, serving as a liaison between students and the mental health community, and encouraging students to seek help as soon as it is needed.

In a nutshell, we want to get students comfortable with talking about mental health issues and know when and how to seek help.

Our chapter was started by Christina Brown ‘11 who, along with Casey Snepar ‘10, was inspired to bring Active Minds to Union when Active Minds founder Alison Malmon shared her experiences and her reasons for founding the organization in Reamer auditorium in the spring of 2010.

From then on, it was a seemingly long process to gaining club status and funding, but in the meantime we were able to host events by working closely with the Counseling Center and our club advisor Amanda Tommell, such as Release Your Inhibitions, where students wrote down their insecurities on a piece of paper and watched them be released on a balloon outside of Reamer Campus Center.

We have also lead discussions on movies such as Shutter Island, Black Swan and American Psycho, and had a friendship bracelet-making event so students could be reminded of those who cared about them.

Our biggest event is National Day without Stigma, which is on Monday, Oct. 3 this year. In order to break down stigma, a panel of students will share their personal accounts with mental health issues in an effort to encourage other people to share their experiences as well.

Whether or not we realize it, we are all subject to our mental health, especially as college students. Active Minds wants to get you talking about mental health with us and most importantly with each other.

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