Morgan Boas: Making a Mindful Effort to End the Stigma

Meet Morgan Boas, a junior at the University of Utah pursuing a degree in psychology with a minor in cognitive science. She moved to Utah from Leominster, Massachusetts and immediately fell in love with the U. She plans to continue her education with a PhD in cognitive psychology with a focus on dialectical behavioral therapy.

Recently, Morgan started an organization called M.E.E.T.S. (Mindful Effort to End The Stigma) in the hopes of ending the stigma against mental illness. I had the pleasure of going more in depth with her on why she began this movement and how everyone can get involved.

 

Her Campus: What is M.E.E.T.S.?

Morgan Boas: Mental Health M.E.E.T.S. (Mindful Effort to End The Stigma) is an organization I recently started that's dedicated to ending the stigma against mental health. The first step towards ending this stigma is to get more people talking about the subject openly and without fear of judgment. M.E.E.T.S. will be a space that anyone can feel comfortable discussing their own experience and ideas surrounding mental health, and a place where anybody can come to learn more about mental health.

HC: What made you want to start this organization?

MB:  Mental health is a subject that is often pushed under the rug compared to physical health, but they are both equally important.

HC: How are you hoping to further the effects of MEETS?

MB: I plan to start holding weekly meetings for M.E.E.T.S. in the Salt Lake area. During these meetings we will hold an open space where everyone can feel comfortable, safe, and excited to talk about such an important matter. We will share with each other, educate each other, and advocate in the community for the spread of awareness. I'm hoping that my friends and colleagues in other states can start their own chapters of this organization so we can have this safe space for people to meet all over the country.

HC:How can people get involved with MEETS?

MB: You can get involved with Mental Health M.E.E.T.S. by joining our facebook group (Mental Health M.E.E.T.S.) or emailing me at [email protected]. The facebook group is a closed group so that people can feel safe discussing their thoughts and feelings about mental health even if they can't attend the meetings.

HC: How can we all help make talking about mental illness easier?

MB: We can make it easier to talk about mental health simply by not being afraid to talk about it as if you are talking about the weather. I went to a behavioral hospital when I was 15 because I was severely depressed and suicidal. I'm diagnosed with an atypical mood disorder. I was introduced to dialectical behavioral therapy by a counselor at the hospital, and I think about how grateful I am for his teachings every day. I am not afraid to share my story, and I'm not ashamed by my diagnosis. I've stayed strong through my struggles and I'm using my own personal experience to try to make at least one other person's life a little easier. I encourage everyone to not be afraid to share their story. If more people talk about this subject, more people will emerge that are encouraged to be open about their experiences.

 

Morgan made this picture to share that she is not ashamed to be on medication. She says, “If the body is ill, it is sometimes treated with medication. It is no different if the mind is ill. Sometimes therapy is not enough, and that's okay. My life has been made a lot easier by this medication, and although I plan to get off of it someday, I don't feel bad about myself for having to take it.”

 

HC: Why is it important to end the stigma surrounding mental health?

MB: Mental health is something that impacts all of us, whether we are diagnosed with something or not. We have all experienced depression, anxiety, mood swings, and stress. If we unite to connect with others through this topic, the world will be a kinder and more understanding place for all of us to live together.

Mental illness isn’t something that can be pushed aside forever and Morgan is taking strides in bringing it to the forefront of society. Email her at [email protected] or join her Facebook group here to be a part of the Mindful Effort to End The Stigma.