Active Minds is a national organization with chapters on over 350 college campuses that advocates for the reduction of stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness. Trying to create a more open environment and start a conversation about mental health and how to seek help.
During the fall 2012 semester the Active Minds chapter is focusing a lot more on fundraising because President Robyn Suchy and Vice President Lauren Ciccariello are presenting their spring event at the Active Minds National Mental Health on Campus Conference at the University of Central Florida.
“Ideally we’d like to fund as many people from the club as possible to come to the conference,” Suchy said.
Their fundraising started on Sept 21 and runs through next Friday, Sept. 28, at Five Below in the King Of Prussia mall. They are also planning a fundraiser at at SoFun in Wayne. A lot of the meeting that took place on Thursday, Sept. 20, was spent talking about the upcoming National “Week Without Stigma” starting Oct. 8. Each year different events help to highlight the stigma that surrounds mental health.
This year the Active Minds chapter is planning to have a “Stomp Out Stigma” event on Monday, Oct. 8. There will have a table with a pledge for people to sign in which they try to be more aware of the language they use that perpetuates the stigmas surrounding mental health. Along with that table they will have over 200 feet of bubble wrap that says the word “Stigma” on it for people to jump on and smash.
There was also talk about having a movie screening that week, a tie-dye event and an ongoing sign in Jazzmans or near Cavs Corner for people to write their own experiences with stigma.
The Active Minds chapter is performing a play in November as a part of the English Department’s Literary November programming. The play, entitled “The Synaptic Gap,” touches on important issues of how society perceives mental illness and how mental health is applicable to everyone.
“I am very proud of our students, because it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and share your personal experiences with others,” Dara Herskovits, LCSW for counseling & psychological services and Active Minds adviser, said.