David Graham President of Active Minds
Active Minds, a student organization on campus, is focused on removing negative stigmas from mental illnesses by educating the campus about the topic in hopes that knowing the truth will empower students to seek out positive modes of help. Recently, we led a “1 in 4” campaign to shed light on the fact that 1 in 4 college students could be suffering from a mental illness.
25% is an appallingly high number of students that could be diagnosed with a mental disorder. College students are subject to widespread anxiety and depression that goes largely undiagnosed. This is where Active Minds steps in.
The more people come to realize the staggering pervasiveness of mental illness, the more people can realize that things like depression and anxiety aren’t really “weird.” Their prevalence can allow students to understand that they aren’t the only ones who feel that way, and that it’s definitely not something to be ashamed of.
Students often dwindle in a state of ambivalence and avoid getting help, but the counselors at Kalamazoo College are an amazing group of people who provide experience and confidentiality to anyone who comes through. We don’t want people to fear what the counselors have to offer simply because of false negative stigmas.
Active Minds is trying to provide this education to the campus community, and all we ask for in return is an open mind. By ridding mental illnesses of their false connotations, people will feel empowered to seek some form of help, maybe in the form of a counselor.
Active Minds is important to this campus not only because mental illness is something that affects a large portion of the population, but also because mental illness touches more than just those experiencing it — it also affects everyone around them.
In this sense, educating and empowering a single person can have the ability to impact a much larger group of people. Active Minds feels that through this education and awareness, our message can spread through the entire campus. This isn’t just important to us as an organization, but it is necessary to the greater good of our campus and to the world around us.
It is only by giving people the opportunity to gain a new understanding and possess a new dimension of knowledge about mental illness that Active Minds can truly begin to spread its message and make a significant difference.