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Club Spotlight: Active Minds

The Active Minds club sporting pins to promote mental health awareness. Photo credit: Alex Boesch

Asking for help isn’t easy. Most won’t even do it. One group on campus is looking to change that.

More than 1,000 college students complete suicide each year, according to the Active Minds website. Meanwhile, one in four Americans has a mental health disorder.

Active Minds, a club on campus, is one of hundreds of chapters across the nation dedicated to promoting mental health awareness, said Ariel Ellis, UMatter liaison and psychology graduate student. Each chapter is associated with the nonprofit organization Active Minds.

The club has been around since 2007, she said. It is making efforts to get more people involved and spread the word.

The club’s mission is to promote mental health awareness and to change the conversation about mental health, said Daisy Godinez, president of the club and senior psychology major.

“We try to educate the students about the resources that are available to them and their friends,” she said. “We also try to get people talking about mental health to make the campus a more comfortable place, so that people who need help can reach out.”

It’s normal to go through rough spots, Godinez said. Awareness of that normalizes it and allows people the confidence to ask for help.

“One of the Active Minds quotes is that, ‘We don’t all have mental illness but we all have mental health,’” Godinez said. “I think that means that even though you’re not diagnosed with anything, that it is normal to go through anxiety or things like that.”

Active Minds has participated in and hosted a variety of events over the years, including tabling, De-Stress Fest and the National Alliance on Mental Illness Walk every year.

The club is hosting Mindful Expressions, a spoken word event that promotes self-expression and active listening, during UMatter Day. The event will take place at 5-7 p.m. Thursday in Bell Memorial Union 008.

Jasmine Buck, club treasurer and senior psychology major, hopes they are reaching people who need help, she said.

“They do matter, and their feelings and emotions, whatever they’re going through, is not trivial and there’s other people out there,” Buck said. “They’re not alone.”

The club shows people they’re not the only ones going through difficult situations, said Maria Veloz, club publicity coordinator and sophomore social work major.

“There are people who you can talk to if you feel like you’re isolated,” Veloz said. “If you have no one, there are resources that you can go to.”

Dominique Diaz can be reached at [email protected] or @dominiqueldiaz on Twitter.

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Dominique Diaz
Dominique Diaz, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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