Active Minds is an important partner of the Mason CARES team due to their passion for promoting awareness of mental health issues and reducing the stigma related to suicide and mental illnesses prevalent on college campuses.
Active Minds was established in 2001 by Alison Malmon after tragically losing her only brother, Brian, to suicide. Alison was then a junior at the University of Pennsylvania. Driven to combat the stigma and lack of understanding that she felt contributed to Brian’s death, she developed a student organization to promote mental health awareness on her campus. Upon graduating she launched the national nonprofit, Active Minds, Inc. Headquartered in Washington, DC, Active Minds, Inc. develops and supports student-run mental health awareness, education, and advocacy chapters on college campuses across the country.
Active Minds chapters are student-run mental health awareness, education, and advocacy groups on college campuses. Chapters are designed to use peer outreach and education to:
- Increase students’ awareness of mental health issues and symptoms of mental health disorders
- Provide information about valuable resources
- Encourage students to seek help as soon as help is needed
- Serve as a liaison between students and the mental health community
By promoting awareness and education, chapters aim to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health and create an open environment of mental health issues. Chapters target the entire college community through large-scale campaigns, programs, and events. That being said, Active Minds chapters are not support groups and their members are not capable of providing clinical services or therapy.
Interested in joining Active Minds? Visit their website for more information: www.gmu.edu/org/activeminds