Active Minds PAINTING event outdoors
Caitlin O’Halloran – Reporter
The Active Minds group hosted an event on the Academic Quad where students could go and participate in painting outdoors.
“I just thought we would put together an event, it’s a very nice day, just for stress management and get everyone outside,” said vice president of the club and social work major Maria Bernabucci, a sophomore.
The Active Minds group is a mental health advocacy club in support of ending any stigmas not only on our campus, but college campuses in general.
“So, we’re doing it really because especially with the pandemic, it’s so hard to get outside and do things in the sunshine,” said secretary of the club and nursing major Irene Laramie, a junior. “It’s just such a bigger boost of serotonin that we’re going to be outside, we’re going to be together, and painting is known to be so relaxing, so it’s really going to help de-stress everyone.”
Along with helping end the stigma surrounding mental illness, the club is also there to inform the campus community of those mental health stigmas and support students who struggle with mental illness and encourage them to reach out to the proper resources offered on campus.
Another main focal point of Active Minds is to create a safe and open environment for students where not only discuss their struggles with mental health, but also find a place where they can be supported and heard on campus. This brings attention to those issues students may struggle with silently.
“We do a bunch of different events to bring awareness to various topics like suicide, sexual assault awareness, stress management, lots of different things, and anyone is welcome to join, so I definitely recommend,” said psychology major Aly Eskatilly, a senior.“I joined last year and it’s really just a safe space to talk about your mental health or the stress that you’re going through and like find your own little community.”
In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the club is hosting a Sexual Assault Awareness Tabling on April 12 at 12 p.m. on the Buley Patio in support of sexual assault victims and to spread awareness to the campus community and others. At this event, those who attend will be able to write a supportive message and just support victims on a poster and they will be given information with resources that can help someone who is currently struggling.
“The main thing is the sexual assault tabling on Monday and then we’ll have it hung up and we’ll also send something, so it’ll be participating ‘Take Back the Night’ which is such a great event that VPAS does,” said Laramie.“And we want to do something for Active Minds as well because it does take a huge toll on people’s mental health, to our survivors that have been through that experience.”
Active Minds also has fundraising for community agencies in order to provide both support and services to individuals who suffer from mental illness.
In the past, Active Minds has offered events such as Stress Awareness Day where they provided goodie bags to support students struggling through stressful times, Virtual Movie Night where students could watch a movie together and many other events that support many other issues such as eating disorders.
“The main goal of Active Minds is just breaking the stigma against mental health and we talk about all our problems, and everything we’re going with and just make it so it’s a norm instead of something that’s taboo as it used to be thought of,” said Laramie.
Photo credit: Caitlin O’Halloran
—helping end the stigma surrounding mental illness
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Harold A Maio