Active Minds strives to remove mental health stigma

Active Minds plans to increase awareness about mental health issues, both on campus and in the surrounding community, for the upcoming year.

According to the Seton Hall website, “Active Minds works to remove the stigma surrounding mental health disorders so that students will feel more comfortable openly discussing mental health related issues and seeking help when it is needed.”

Adah Beck, a senior biochemistry major and the president of Active Minds, explained her goals for the organization.

“This year, we are hoping to expand our general body population and increase awareness of our club and mental health by co-sponsoring with several other student-run [organizations] on campus,” Beck said.

Photo courtesy of Adah Beck
Active Minds plans to increase awareness about mental health issues.

Beck said that some events are remaining constant, such as the “annual ‘Happy’ documentary screening as part of International Celebration Month.”

Beck mentioned new ideas and events for the year. The organization plans to co-host the Alpha Phi Omega Charity Ball next month to fundraise for the national Active Minds chapter.

“We [hope] that this will increase prevalence of our club on campus and give us another opportunity to spread mental health advocacy to Greek Life where we have historically had difficulties reaching,” Beck said.

Beck described the club’s weekly meetings and noted that her favorite ones were around finals season.

“[The] meetings are simply ‘destress’ programs, such as Paint ‘n’ Sip, group coloring book sessions or yoga and meditation,” Beck said.

Amanda Rivera, a sophomore psychology major and social chair of Active Minds, explained that the club creates events set to help and support others facing depression.

“I hope students take away that it’s okay to talk about mental health with your friends and family,” Rivera said. “Not only that it’s okay, but also that it helps greatly to talk to someone in times of need.”

Rivera added, “If there’s one thing that [students] take from this club, I hope it’s that you are not alone. That’s definitely what I’ve learned.”

Sarah Czochanski, a sophomore diplomacy and philosophy major and secretary of Active Minds, expressed her long-term goals for the organization.

“We hope students will take away positive coping skills from our club, and that SHU as a whole will abolish the stigma around mental health,” Czochanski said. “Students should get involved to spread mental health awareness.”

Czochanski explained her decision to join SHU’s chapter of Active Minds.

“I joined because I am very passionate about mental health advocacy and I would like to spread the word,” Czochanski said. “I hope to impact at least one person’s view on the stigma of mental health. If I can impact one person, I will have fulfilled my role as Active Mind’s secretary.”

Claudia Emanuele can be reached at claudia.emanuele@student.shu.edu.

Author: Claudia Emanuele

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  1. Active Minds strives to remove mental health stigma

    One cannot have it both ways, both insisting there is a stigma, and claiming to want to remove it. The actions are contradictory. 
    That it is a given that there are people who say there is a stigma does not mean there is. Rather than join one’s voice to those who say there is one, we ought be first rejecting there is and second educating those currently trained to say there is. 
    To remove the stigma of mental illness form one’s own mind is a personal matter. I am certain you can do that. To decline to support it from others is both a personal and a professional matter. I am certain you are capable of both. 

    My advice to anyone encountering someone saying there is a stigma is to ask, “Specifically what do  y o u  mean by that?” and then pay close attention to the explication. I emphasize the  y o u  because the tendency will be to respond with “people believe.”  You can of course apply that question to yourself: What do you mean when you say there is a stigma? 

    Stigma is the pretense of one aspect of society that it can diminish another aspect.  That pretense lasted for generations regarding rape, and reached a nadir under Nazism regarding Jews. The pretense is with us again. Participating, as before, is a choice, not a rule. 

    The Disability Office at Seton Hall can help you appreciate why you do not participate in directing a stigma.  You can search my name for further on this topic. 

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