In 2000, Alison Malmon, a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, tragically lost her older brother after taking his own life. In her time of pain and grief, she found the strength to start a club to help people in situations like her brother’s or even her own. Malmon is the founder of Active Minds.
This community organization has spent the last 17 years changing the conversation about mental health on campuses across the country and encouraging young people to take charge of their mental health.
Ten years ago, Stockton University joined this conversation when student founder, Rosie, was encouraged by her therapist to create Stockton University’s chapter of Active Minds. After facing her own struggles, she let go of the pain and hurt within herself and decided to give back to the community. Her legacy can still be seen today with Stockton’s Active Minds chapter, as it continues to spread awareness about mental health on campus.
Last year alone, the club achieved a staggering amount of outreach, as it screened over 1,100 people for suicide prevention on campus and had more than 500 people attend its suicide prevention walk. Having these meaningful conversations, not just on suicide, but on depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, helps students feel less alone in their battles. By fighting stigmas connected to these issues by providing a safe space on campus, Active Minds works to change the mental health narrative every day.
Now more than ever, when the world is so changed, and life can feel so isolating due to the pandemic, it is especially important to continue these discussions for the sake of our community.
Like all the major clubs on campus, COVID-19 put Active Minds into an impromptu pause in activity last Spring; however, they are back now and getting creative in the online spaces. Co-presidents Morgan Pfau and Seth Edwards, along with the rest of the E-board of Active Minds, have been hard at work to make their virtual imprint in these times.
The club has a presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Osprey Hub, and plans to hold meetings every Thursday on ZOOM at 4:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join these meetings regardless of majors, as all students’ mental well-being is essential to this club.
Along with the ZOOM meetings, Active Minds will continue hosting suicide prevention events that run from September to December. These events range from an open panel on LGBTQ+ mental health to some recurring events from last year, like Recovery Yoga.
There is an event for everyone over this semester, and with them each taking place virtually, no student, especially those who cannot travel right now, needs to stress over traveling to campus. Active Minds emphasizes that every individual has good days bad days, and it is vital to take care of mental health, like all forms of personal health.
And to those looking for inspiration to either join Active Minds or to start their mental health journey, Nathan Morell, club advisor and one of Stockton’s counselors, offers a bit of advice. Morell says brain health is part of health, and talking about it can help ourselves and those around us. The world can feel so worrisome right now with both the pandemic and virtual learning, adding to the daily stresses many college students already face.
Active Minds recognizes these difficulties and continues to break the cycle of isolation that mental health inflicts upon individuals by providing open communication to students and staff alike.
For those looking to address Active Minds directly, contact email@example.com.