We need to #HugMore

How Active Minds spread positivity and kindness throughout campus

Danny Grisanzio, Assistant News Editor

Active Minds challenged the UW-W campus to document hugs for the HugMore challenge from Nov. 12 to Nov. 18  by posting pictures on social media of consensual hugs using the #HugMore tag.

“#HugMore is an initiative that champions the hug as a simple, accessible way we can take a moment for self-care,” said the national Active Minds organization. “[We are] benefiting our own mental health and the mental health of others through a moment of personal connection.”

Hugs have been linked to several health benefits including reduced stress, an improved mood, relaxed muscles and improving people’s self-esteem.

“It was so fun going around to give hugs,” said Kelsey Pacetti, the president of the Active Minds chapter at UW-W. “I felt excited each day of the challenge”

Pacetti wasn’t the only one enthusiastic about taking part in the initiative. Many of the other members of Active Minds encouraged people to get involved as well as give out as many hugs as they could.

“It’s a conversation starter with people you wouldn’t normally talk to, and by doing so, helps to jumpstart connections you may have with them,” said Ivy Steege, the vice president of Active Minds. “People in this organization have the biggest hearts and the most empathy I’ve ever seen, and the #HugMore campaign really shows that.”

By the end of the challenge, there were 93 documented hugs as well as 4 group hugs documented on social media.

The UW-W Active Minds chapter was competing with chapters from other campuses. Due to their success, they received the second-place prize, which was free VAR (validate-appreciate-refer) training. This training consists of what to do when someone comes to confide in you, and how you should properly treat the situation.

If you personally or any group/organization is interested in the free VAR training, or if you are interested in getting involved in Active Minds, please contact [email protected].