Strangle the Mental Health Stigma
By: Jake Twer, Account Executive
If I went into a classroom at Elon and asked how many people struggle with mental health then I would guess that most of the students in that room would raise their hand. According to Pew Research Center, about 70% of people in this generation have some sort of mental health issue.
Let that sink in. 7 out of 10 people. That’s almost 5,000 out of 7,000 students on our campus. But what do we do to help our students? Counseling services, some focus groups, and promoting joining clubs. We need more support systems.
To break the stigma of mental health and having trouble talking about it with others, we need to have weekly support groups where students can talk to one another and relate to each other. Other students can be the best support system for each other.
My mom always says, “The blind can’t lead the blind,” but people our age know most closely what we’re going through. And with the support of some speaker panels and weekly events, we can make our students struggle less and prosper more mentally, feeling more free within our stressful society.
Our generation is punctured by addiction to technology, Covid, and the onset of mental health issues. Active Minds can help.
Active Minds started as a small student to student group that started on Penn’s campus, and has now expanded, with chapters on different campuses. It has since become the main organization that impacts young adults and mental health. Active Minds is now on more than 800 campuses, and is able to directly reach out to and become close to 600,000 students each year through campus awareness campaigns, events, advocacy, outreach, and more. Some more of the programs include speakers that can be in-person or virtual, workplace programs, national conferences, advocacy for campus policy change and other resources.
Participation in Active Minds leads to higher rates of help-seeking behavior and for life-long impact. This is so vital to help diminish this terrible stigma of mental illness and being afraid to talk about it. Students deserve Active Minds; they deserve to feel like they are in a safe space to talk about anything that is going on or is affecting them. Overall better mental health and the ability to break this stigma will make campus life across the nation so much more vibrant and just happy. The more chapters of Active Minds implemented across campuses, the more smiles we’ll start to see.
There needs to be a revolution against this mental health stigma and Active Minds is ready to battle it.
I’m going to wrap up with the fact that Active Minds has found that students are 20% more likely to receive treatment on campuses that are perceived to be supportive of mental health issues than not. There are so many colleges that do not even talk about mental health or have enough resources for their students to go to. If campuses do not talk about mental health then why would the students feel safe to open up?
Active Minds is on a mission to save lives, as so many people struggle with mental health and suicidal thoughts. By 2022, they intend to double their reach to 1,000 total campuses.
Are you willing to combat the stigma against mental illness?