Welcome to Mind Full, the corner of The Wellesley News dedicated to addressing all your mental health questions and concerns. Active Minds is excited to announce that this column will be a weekly feature designed to promote peer education, introduce ourselves and other resources on campus, and of course, fight stigma surrounding mental health at Wellesley.
But first, what is Active Minds?
We are both a student-run org at Wellesley and a chapter of a larger, intercollegiate network of campuses committed to promoting mental health awareness, and helping students live as their healthiest selves. The first branch of Active Minds was founded by Alison Malmon, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, in 2000. Frustrated by a lack of dialogue and visibility, Alison was determined to change mental health culture on campus and ensure that students who needed help knew how to seek it. The group quickly expanded to other college and university campuses, and the organization’s national headquarters were established in Washington, DC in 2003. Today, there are more than 400 chapters of Active Minds across the U.S., serving hundreds of thousands of students.
At Wellesley, we recognize the unique strains and pressures faced by students at an elite liberal arts institution. The Wellesley chapter of Active Minds addresses the needs of our community by organizing a variety of educational and interactive programs. Over the last year, our events have ranged from healthy relationship workshops on Valentine’s Day, to Love Your Body Week, to opportunities for storytelling and spoken word performances. We have also collaborated with the larger Peer Health Education program to establish the Mental Health Educators, in-dorm resources with special, Stone Center training that allows them to respond to the individual needs of Wellesley students and connect students to resources.
The most important thing to know if you, a friend or a family member suffers from a mental illness is that you are not alone. One in four college students has been diagnosed with a mental illness, and over 600 students a year benefit from the confidential counseling services at the Stone Center. While mental health stigma is present nationwide, and varies between regions, religions and cultures, we can take progressive steps at Wellesley to fight misconceptions and misrepresentations of mental health every day. Active Minds believes that change begins with education, and at Wellesley we are passionate about providing accessible mental health education and resources to any and all members of our community.
Some goals we have for Mind Full going forward include writing profiles on individual Stone Center counselors, publishing interviews (anonymous or non-anonymous!) with students willing to share their mental health stories and educating Wellesley about the mental health issues that affect both us and the world at large. If you would like to learn more about mental health, suggest a topic for an article, or conduct a confidential interview with an Active Minds member, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please feel free to reach out if you are interested in joining our chapter of Active Minds, or receiving training to become a Mental Health Educator.
Remember, help is always available.
Stone Center number: 781-283-2839
Active Minds email: email@example.com
Sabrina Leung ‘18 is the Digital Editor majoring in International Relations-Political Science with a minor in History. She is best reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @sabrinatzleung on Twitter.