Student organizations stand up against mental health stigma

Active Minds at UW-W and Gardening Club hold plant sale to fundraise

Charlie Fries, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

Though the fall semester is drawing to a close, student organizations have no intention of stopping their generosity, and Active Minds at UW-Whitewater, a nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness, is no different.

The UW-Whitewater Active Minds chapter is one of several Active Minds chapters in the US, though each focuses on the same goal: de-stigmatizing mental illness and educating college students across the nation. The UW-Whitewater chapter of Active Minds is partnering with the Gardening Club on campus to sell a variety of plants in order to raise money to end the stigma surrounding mental health.

“We chose to do a plant sale fundraiser because plants can have many benefits towards your health,” explained Active Minds president, Taylor Stevens. “The money from the plant sales will go to the National Active Minds chapter to help support all college Active Minds chapters around the US to fight the stigma.”

The plants were provided alongside Active Minds on behalf of UW-W’s Gardening Club, which is based in the Upham Hall greenhouse. The Gardening Club specializes in raising, nurturing and propogating plants with fellow plant-enthusiasts. The club is very familiar with having plant sales, as they have done them prior to collaborating with Active Minds – though the message behind each of the sales is the same.

“We decided to help them because we enjoy sharing plants and helping people get access to plants,” remarked Renae Lloyd, the president of UW-W’s Gardening Club.

The Sustainability Office plays a big role in co-managing the greenhouse located in Upham Hall and gave both student organizations the space and resources to set up the fundraiser. Wesley Enterline, the Sustainability Coordinator for the Sustainability Office on campus, understands how students can feel shut-in during the winter months.

“It gives students a chance to interact with nature,” said Enterline. “And it’s really rewarding go down to the greenhouse during the winter months when everything is usually dreary.”

The plant sale is set for Dec. 10 and 11 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and  Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the University Center. Plants will range from $1 to $3 with hand-painted, decorative pots painted by the members of Active Minds.