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Club Spotlight: Active Minds seeks to change mental health stigma at XU

By Hollis Conners
On January 23, 2013

There is a group of students on campus working to "change the conversation about mental health." The student-led organization known as Active Minds is work- ing towards students spread- ing understanding about mental health towards Xavier students. The group wants to change perspectives on mental health by educating and hosting events that raise awareness about certain topics relating to mental health, such as suicide prevention and stress relief. "We understand that people don't necessarily like to talk about mental health," President Kaela Allton said. "There is a stigma surround- ing mental health, which be- comes very problematic when someone is suicidal and doesn't tell anyone." Meetings consist of discussing different types of mental illness- es, playing games and watching videos that all pertain to mental health in order to educate those who attend meetings. They tend to focus on stress relief because stress is a major factor that is behind suicide, an- other main topic they focus on.
Active Minds has a number of goals for the up- coming semester. The main goal is to always in- crease awareness and membership. They also want mem- bers to become more engaged in activities. Active Minds is especially ex- cited for two ma- jor events com- ing up. National Eating Disorder Week begins March 11, which is co-hosted by Student Health Advisory Council and SAC. N a t i o n a l Stress Out Week takes place the week of April 14. Active Minds will host a number of activities to ease students' stress. If any student wants to join, meetings take place at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. The meeting room alternates weekly between GSC 214 and GSC 330. Allton believes it is worth con-
sidering joining the group. "I think it's important for stu- dents to understand mental ill- nesses," Allton said. "They are a very prevalent and misunderstood
aspect of society." "A person is not considered weak if they struggle with a physi- cal illness like cancer. Therefore a person should not be considered
weak if they struggle with a men- tal illness like depression [either,]" Allton said. 

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