By: Lauren Barksdale | News Editor
Many college students struggle with mental health due to the stress of our schedules and the extracurriculars we have. Last Thursday, Active Minds held a discussion based around hearing the stories of some survivors of mental health issues.
Mental health is an issue that is seldom talked about for fear of stereotyping or judgment, but Active Minds seeks to combat that fear. Active Minds is an organization based on generating talk about mental health issues on campus and getting students connected with resources on campus such as counseling services.
President Brandon Raines led the discussion and opened the floor to anyone willing to share their stories. He explained the goal he hopes to overcome as president.
“My main goal is to create a safe space and a platform for students to come to and help them feel welcome and free to share their stories and experiences,” Raine said.
Guest speaker Heather Stanley, Director of student media, shared her experiences with depression, OCD, and anxiety that she faced throughout her life and how she copes with those issues.
Active Minds members Rachel Gonzalez and Marie Rody also shared their stories about surviving the trauma that mental health issues can cause. Rody shared about her past experiences and how they motivated her to go to nursing school to become a psych nurse while Gonzalez shared about her time overseas in Spain and how that experience caused some of the mental health issues that she struggles with today.
One of the attendees, Latajh Wilcoxon explained how she struggles with depression and anxiety, so coming to this event was very personal for her.
“I came out tonight because I deal a lot myself with mental illness and mental health and I thought it might be a good way to meet some others that might have the same experience as me,” Wilcoxon said.
The goal of active minds is to get rid of the fear and stereotypes surrounding mental health issues, a very challenging thing to do in this day and age, but by holding discussion events and open forums for people to talk about their issues, the people behind the Active Minds organization hope to confront these issues head-on.
Active Mind’s next meeting is Feb. 27 and the topic is focused on dealing with depression and anxiety in college.