March 6, 2018
Active Minds, the only nonprofit organization in the country that empowers students to speak openly about mental health, has recognized Athens State University as one of its newest chapters. The organization aims to educate others about mental health and various disorders and encourages those who need assistance to seek outlets for support. Active Minds uses the students in its college and university chapters to raise mental health awareness by “promoting a dialogue around issues of mental health and educating the student body about available resources in and around the campus community.”
The number of college students experiencing mental health issues is continuing to rise. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 75% of all mental health conditions begin before the age of 24, with one in five college students struggling with mental health conditions.
As one of the organization’s first campus-wide activities, students were invited to gather and paint rocks that will be hidden around the Athens State campus to bring awareness of suicide and mental health problems that plague many individuals. Several students came together and artistically adorned the rocks with eye-catching designs and inspirational messages. Chapter advisor, Dr. Vanessa Miller, explained that the goal of the project was to help eliminate the stigma of mental health problems by allowing other students to find the hidden rocks and be educated about various mental health issues as well as uplifted by each rock’s encouraging message.
Active Minds, led by Athens State chapter President, Lauren Brunette, plans to host additional student activities throughout the spring semester.