What is Active Minds?
Active Minds is the nation’s only nonprofit organization dedicated to utilizing the student voice to raise mental health awareness among college and university students. As a chapter of Active Minds, Active Minds at Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) promotes a dialogue around issues of mental health and educates the entire student body about available resources in and around the campus community. Active Minds at TJU strives to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, and our chapter holds several annual events to raise mental health awareness, such as the National Day Without Stigma Event, a Fall Speaker Event, and a Stress Less Fair in the spring.
How do I get involved?
To learn more about Active Minds, please visit the national website.
Please check back for more information on our events. We have some great events planned for this year, including: Minding Your Mind speaker who shares lived experience dealing with a mental illness, The Art of Recovery featuring artwork created by women in recovery from eating disorders, and a stress-less fair with therapy dogs.
In October 2014, over 76 Jefferson students helped Active Minds, the SPCC, and JeffHELP to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness by listening as Carl Antisell, a dynamic speaker from the Minding Your Mind Foundation, shared his personal struggle with mental illness and his journey to recovery. Carl spoke with students about his use of addictive substances as a way to relieve his ongoing anxiety and depression. Through his recovery process, Carl learned healthy, effective ways to handle his emotions, as well as life’s ups and downs. Carl stayed for almost an hour after the event answering questions from the audience and speaking individually to students.
In April 2014, Active Minds at TJU held a Stress Less Fair in Lubert Plaza, where we invited students to come de-stress by cuddling with therapy dogs, painting away their woes, decorating cookies, and decorating flower pots in which they planted seeds. Students were provided with resources about mental health, as well as tips and techniques to help them relax and reduce their stress.
In October 2013, Melissa Hopely from the Minding Your Mind Foundation gave a talk entitled, “My Fight for Imperfection – One Woman’s Personal Story of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Depression.” She gave an engaging account of her life, her challenges growing up with OCD, and her path to learning how to manage the condition. Afterwards, she shared a video that she had created and answered questions from the audience.
Send Silence Packing: Raising Awareness of Student Suicide was Active Minds at TJU’s ‘kick off’ event in Love Park! Sponsored by the national Active Minds office, Send Silence Packing was an exhibit of 1,100 backpacks representing the number of college student lives lost to suicide each year. Active Minds has collected and continues to collect backpacks and personal stories in memory of or in honor of loved ones impacted by suicide. By displaying backpacks with personal stories from loved ones, Active Minds puts a “face” to the lives lost to suicide. Send Silence Packing drives home the message that preventing suicide is not just about lowering statistics, but also about saving the lives of students, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, and friends across the nation. Contributions to the exhibit serve as a meaningful outlet for survivors’ grief while also providing a powerful way to raise awareness and work toward suicide prevention.