Active Minds Aims to Raise Awareness

The Charger Bulletin

By Amy Langlois
Guest Contributor

Active Minds is a student group working to utilize student voices to change the conversation about mental health on college campuses. Active Minds was established here at the University of New Haven in the spring of 2009 and has been very active on campus in that short time.

Members of Active Minds UNH work to increase students’ awareness of mental health issues by providing information and resources regarding mental health and mental illness, encouraging students to seek help as soon as it is needed, and serving as a liaison between students and the mental health community. All students are welcome to join! Through campus wide events and national programs, Active Minds aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health on campuses throughout North America.

In the club’s short time here on campus, members of Active Minds participated in designing an Active Minds UNH T-shirt which was worn at a NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) walk in May 2009. Many members became sponsored for the walk, raising over $500 to benefit mental health awareness. Furthermore, members have developed programs in which students made their own stress balls to aid in stress relief during finals week. Active Minds has also teamed up with student activities for programs such as “Beat the Blues Week” and Alcohol Awareness Week. Members of Active Minds have also hosted speakers from Alcoholics Anonymous as well as featured movies such as What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, focusing on Autism. Active Minds has participated in the 2009 National Day without stigma and had a member attend the National Active Minds Conference in November in Washington, D.C.

This semester we plan on continuing educating the community about mental illness by participating in many events around campus. Active Minds will be hosting a Movie Night featuring A Beautiful Mind on Feb. 22 with popcorn to be provided. Active Minds will also be participating in the Health and Wellness fair on Mar. 2 as well as assisting Student Activities in various programs for that week. Active Minds will also be teaming up with the UNH Lacrosse team to promote suicide awareness and prevention at their Lax4Life game on Mar. 27. Furthermore, the club will be participating in the National Stress Out Day in April as well as co-sponsoring Taking Back the Night, which educates individuals about domestic violence. Lastly, Active minds will be attending the 2010 NAMI walk in Hartford on May 16, 2010.

As you can see, Active Minds has been very busy with planning events for this upcoming semester and would love help from any interested students. Meetings are Thursdays (times alternate between 10am and 12:15pm) in the DeDominicus Hall in Bartels. Please e-mail club at [email protected] with any questions or for more information about what we aim to do here on campus!