South Students Start the Conversation

By: Keylee Fillingim | Contributing Writer

South Alabama’s chapter of the student-led organization, Active Minds, held its first meeting last Thursday night in the Student Center. The organization creates a safe haven for students to learn and talk about mental health and provides resources for them.

Active Minds provided Papa John’s pizza and refreshments for guests who attended the meeting.

“Not everyone has a mental illness, but everyone has mental health,” said Active Minds president, Brandon Raines.

Raines shared that he believes students are more comfortable talking to other students than a counselor. 

21-year-old junior, Kia Abdullah, talked about the struggle to share her mental health issues with her family, due to the generation gap.

“I deal with a lot of mental health issues myself,” said Abdullah, “and I just want to help make our generation more educated on it so future generations will feel comfortable talking to their parents about it.”

Like Abdullah and others on campus, 23-year old senior, Nicole Daley, has been through mental issues and wants to understand what other students have gone through.

“I wanted to help educate myself more,” said Daley, “not just on what I experience but what other people experience too.”

Bi-weekly meetings will cover many topics surrounding mental health, such as; self-care, addiction, anxiety.

President Raines hopes to create “stigma fighters” and “mental health warriors” that will be able to talk to students, family, and anyone else trying to overcome mental health struggles. 

If you want to make a difference and help start a conversation follow Active Minds on their social media: @activemindsusa. 

If you or anyone you know is struggling, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255