Nationally-recognized student organization comes to UW-Whitewater
April 17, 2017
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The nation-wide organization Active Minds will be making its debut to UW-Whitewater campus coming this fall. The organization will push to create a positive outlook on mental health on campus, as well as helping students to build relationships and learn about the tools available to them on campus.
“As students we want to spread the message across campus that mental health illnesses or disorders are nothing to be ashamed of they are completely normal,” co-creator Dillan Schneider said. “And we are doing our best to fight that stigma.” Active minds is a nonprofit organization brought to over 400 campuses throughout the country.This campus setting allows for students to create relationships with each other sharing passions for mental health awareness and not feel that adult figures to go to. Schneider hopes that creating Active Minds acts as a safe place for people to talk with others and, if willing, share their stories with others in the same shoes.
Co-creator Taylor Stevens believes that Active Minds will help to create a safe environment on campus, so students don’t feel alone.
“College chapter allows us the student chapter to let kids know that if they need someone to talk to, or a safe place to go, a non judgmental zone where if they want to share something they can and we are very open to that,” Stevens said.
The new club is working to have meetings every week, with a time and place to be determined come fall. This would serve as a place for students to socialize with each other, as well as host many events for students to attend such as movie nights and bonfires.
The Send Silence event is a large goal the organization hopes to fundraise enough money to hold on campus. Send Silence is a traveling exhibit with backpacks filled with loved ones stories around campuses to represent the number of students lost to suicide each year. The exhibit works to bring awareness to students need for mental health resources and suicide prevention.
The organization is also eager to create a partnership with many other health related orgs, such as University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS), Communicating Health in Practice (CHIP), as well as sororities and fraternities. This will help with collaborating for events and expanding student relationships. In addition, Active Minds hopes to set up an information table during the Involvement Fair and potentially Club U Dub-Dub. They want to encourage every student to be involved.
Planning ahead, the organization will be holding events during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Eating Disorder Week, and Health Awareness Month.
Active minds is working with UW Health and Counseling Faculty Erica Fisher to create a mutual relationship with students and campus services, to not let people be afraid to work with people who want to listen and help.
“We want to do our best to spread the word that anyone is welcome, it’s the big message,”Co-Creator, Dillan Schneider, said. “We want to help the campus.”