Over the past three years, Active Minds has been a growing special interest group on the Worcester State University (WSU) campus. We are part of a national organization with over 425 chapters at college campuses across the country. Our main goal is to reduce the stigmas surrounding mental illness and start a dialogue on campus about mental health.
This past fall semester marked some big milestones for our Active Minds chapter at WSU. With collaboration from the Diversity Lecture Series and other on-campus organizations, we were able to bring a presenter from the Active Minds National Speakers Bureau to Worcester State. On November 13, 2013, Jordan Burnham spoke to students about his personal struggle with depression and suicide. In addition to the lecture, Sandy de Castro, treasurer of Active Minds, with the help of Dr. Lauren Mizock of the Psychology department, was able to bring PhotoVoice to campus to share with students in the Exhibit Area. The PhotoVoice exhibit allowed students to understand more about mental health through photographs and stories created by people suffering from mental illness.
The leadership team for Active Minds also was able to take advantage of the opportunity to attend the Active Minds 10th Anniversary National Conference at Georgetown University. For three days, Active Minds leaders, Megan Sullivan, Catherine Pare, Sandy de Castro, and Laura Sutter, along with their advisor, Matthew Kelly, attended lectures and workshops. These included presenters from the National Speakers Bureau and presenters from other universities. The knowledge gained from this conference has been brought back to WSU in the hopes that it can be used to educate the campus about positive mental health.
Submitted by Laura Sutter, vice president of the Worcester State University chapter of Active Minds
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