Active Minds, a national organization dedicated to promoting mental health awareness on college campuses, recently became an official club at Temple University.
Active Minds was originally created by University of Pennsylvania student, Alison Malmon after the suicide of her brother, and later became established as a national organization in 2003.
Sarah Cohen, a sophomore at Temple, started the organization in the fall of 2013 and earned recognition in 2014.
“The main purpose is to increase students’ awareness about mental health, provide information and resources regarding mental health and mental illness, encourage students to seek help if needed, and serve as a liaison between students and the mental health community,” Cohen explained.
The club has biweekly meetings throughout the semester and has different themes for each meeting. Examples of previous themed meetings include mental health, the media, body image, etc. Active Minds at Temple has also brought in guest speakers pertaining to the field of mental health. The organization has branched out even more this semester by incorporating bigger events, such as Open Mic Night.
All students are encouraged to learn more about the organization and attend meetings, regardless of their history with mental illness. Cohen believes everyone can benefit from learning about the importance of mental health.
Because the organization is so new to Temple’s campus, Active Minds hopes to do more advocacy in the future and educate students about the variety of mental health resources available for students. The primary goal of Active Minds is to convey the message that no matter what, you are not alone, and other people are struggling with the same or similar issues.
“Mental health is such an important component of our lives, and its effects are completely underestimated and stigmatized,” Cohen stated. “It’s really cool to have our members tell us that they feel more part of a community now that we exist on campus. It’s really important that we work to make mental illness a topic that we can all talk about with no shame.”