Active Minds: Removing the Stigma

If you were on campus a couple weeks ago, you may have seen the hundreds of yellow pinwheels. This event was put on by Active Minds, a club that speaks up about mental illness and is fighting to change the stigma around it. This profile is going to be about the club itself, rather than a person.

Meet Janelle DeRubies, President of Active Minds and spokesperson for this profile.

Her Campus Winona (HC): What is Active Minds?

Active Minds (AM): Active Minds is a National Organization dedicated to removing the stigma surrounding mental health. As a chapter at WSU, we want to do just that on our campus here in Winona.


HC: As a club, what benefit do you provide for the campus and students?

AM: We provide a voice for any student who is struggling with a mental illness and doesn’t know how to start talking about it. We make that connection students need between being alone and finding the resources to get help.


HC: Tell us about some of the events Active Minds will be doing.

AM: We will be tabling at the Homecoming club fair and on Halloween for sure. We would like to do a de-stress event before finals as well. An event I am trying to get started is a kind of art show for anyone who wants to display their art and how it relates to mental health. We will start advertising for this soon to ask for submissions!

HC: How did your “Throw Silence into the Wind” event go?

AM: It couldn't have gone better! Everyone who tabled that day witnessed people stopping to read the signs while looking out at all the pinwheels. We heard people start that conversation with a friend as they walked by. Numerous faculty members came by to congratulate us on our event. We gained more members and I think this helped our club get our name out there.


HC: What do you hope Active Minds accomplishes this semester regarding mental health?

AM: I hope to keep starting that conversation among our students and to create more awareness about the topic. I want to keep breaking those walls down about the stigma of mental health. Ideally, our club will help students who are struggling feel comfortable reaching out for help whether that be talking to a friend/family member, contacting counseling services, or seeing another mental health professional. We don’t want the stigma around mental health to stop someone from getting help.


Active Minds meets every other Thursday in Minné 120. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, recommend Active Minds; the club creates a comfortable environment for anyone looking for a place to go.