Don’t Miss the NFLPA Play to Support Active Minds on Family Feud this Sunday

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Are you a fan of football? And mental health advocacy? What about the TV show Family Feud? Man, do we have a treat for you.

This Sunday (July 3) at 8 pm EST, our friends at the NFLPA will appear on a special celebrity edition of Family Feud. Ten football players will divvy up into two teams and compete for $25,000, to be donated to charity — and Active Minds is one of the charities!

Brandon Marshall of the New York Jets, Marcus Cannon of the New England Patriot, Amari Cooper of the Oakland Raiders, Jeremy Hill of the Cincinnati Bengals and Steve Smith Sr. of the Baltimore Ravens will be playing for Active Minds. Continue Reading

How Active Minds Changed My College Career

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Hannah Metzger is a former member of Active Minds at West Chester University and is currently serving as a summer intern for the Active Minds Speakers Bureau.

SelfieThe transition into college is rarely a quick and easy one to make. You go from the comfort of your hometown and people you’ve known for years to a very different environment full of strangers and new things to explore. It’s difficult to find a new group of friends, or a place that feels comfortable for you to express yourself. Even if you stay close to home, as I did, it’s still a huge difference from the daily routine you mastered in high school. Because of this transition, many people struggle with mental health issues that may have not been present before.

Though I had experienced some issues with anxiety and depression in the past, nothing could have prepared me for the storm of emotions that was brewing and coming my way.

As always, I was anxious during the first week of classes and feeling overwhelmed with all of the work I was going to be expected to complete over the semester. Had it not been for the support from my mom, I still think I may have dropped out that week and let the anxiety win. She kept a firm hand on my shoulder and led me through the next few weeks. All the while, I tried to hold my head high, maintain my composure, and make daily life as bearable as possible. Continue Reading

Mental Health News Round Up: June 24

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ClfllxtWEAEgtroOrlando Shooting Sheds Light on Mental Health Disparities in Florida’s Latino Community

After the Orlando shooting, many Latinos in the area are ending the stigma about mental health. Over 40 Latino-led organizations have formed since the tragedy to help low incomes families receive proper resources for those who were affected.

(Note: See a message from the Active Minds staff regarding the tragedy in Orlando.)

Prince William Makes An Excellent Point About Mental Health

Prince William, father of two and mental health advocate, opens up about the importance of parents and the ability to openly talk about their children’s psychological wellbeing. He encourages parents to accept mental health and treat as serious as physical health.

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4 Things You Need to Know About #MHCC16

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We’re already counting down to the 13th National Mental Health on Campus Conference at Sacramento State from November 4-6! (It’s 138 days away, in case you were wondering.) Now that registration is open and planning is full-steam-ahead, here are four important things you need to know:

1. The Conference Theme

The theme of this year’s conference is “Active Minds for Every Mind: Diversion, Inclusion, Unity.” What does that mean exactly? We’re talking about identities of all kinds — race, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, mental illness diagnoses and lived experience — and how those identities intersect with mental health and campus advocacy. It’s going to make for some fascinating keynotes and presentations (stay tuned for more updates on speakers!). Also, how beautiful is this year’s logo?!

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A Young Alumnus Gives Back: Luke Beischel

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When he was a freshman, Luke Beischel became the founder and president of the Active Minds chapter at Xavier University.

For four years, he worked tirelessly to raise awareness about mental health among his fellow students: as a suicide attempt survivor, he understood what can happen when students feel alone with their illness and without hope.

Having graduated four years ago, Luke is now in a loving relationship with his partner and has an exciting job with a top-tier production company in Los Angeles. He’s as committed as ever to fighting the stigma and silence that surrounds mental illness – so much so that he now contributes his philanthropic support as a major donor to Active Minds.

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A Message from the Active Minds National Staff

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We at the Active Minds national office are thinking of all of you who are impacted by the unimaginable and shocking tragedy in Orlando, Florida. We know that the news is triggering and terrifying and that it stirs up so many deep and strong feelings. Please feel them and know that they are normal.

Please turn to those who support you and to mental health resources if you need them. (Here’s a list of11 small ways to cope with helpless feelings, from a trained therapist.)  The national staff is always here to talk about ways to channel this pain into conversations and supportive events on your campus. You can contact the Chapters Team at 202-332-9595 or at chapters@activeminds.org.

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Three Things I Learned by Fighting Mental Illness

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Emily is a member of the Active Minds Student Advisory Committee and a chapter leader at the University of Pittsburgh. Learn more about the Student Advisory Committee

emilyThree and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder and a not-otherwise-specified mood disorder. While that sounds scary, it was actually great – my diagnosis helped me to realize that the ruminating thoughts I experienced daily and lack of short-term memory were caused by a disease, when before, I didn’t understand where they were coming from. And as I learned what it meant to live with this diagnosis on a daily basis, I learned a lot of really valuable lessons on the way.

However, I want to be very clear in stating that I am in no way trying to glorify mental illness. If a fairy came to me and told me they could take away my mental illnesses with a swish of their wand, I would jump almost immediately. But, to the best of my knowledge, fairies don’t exist. Mental illnesses still do, and the people that experience these diseases have to learn how to cope with them. This is a big challenge, but it can be overcome and one can learn a lot from it. As I said earlier, I did.

So, here are three things I learned by fighting against mental illness. This is not an exhaustive list, and it could be different for each person and their experience with mental illness. My goal in sharing this list is to show anyone who reads this that an experience with mental illness doesn’t have to be limiting and that people can and do get better and stronger.

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From the Active Minds Speakers Bureau: Pride Cometh Before

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Maggie Bertram is a member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau. Bring her to your campus or organization to speak about mental health.

7b47cba0-12f0-0134-e753-0a315da82319Note: I originally wrote this blog post before I heard the tragic news out of Orlando early Sunday morning (6/12/2016). There is still a lot of speculation about motivation and circumstances that we’ll continue to hear about in the weeks ahead. However, it’s hard not to look at this tragedy for what it is: a hate crime.

I don’t think any of us in the LGBTQIA+ community are feeling the same sense of security we felt before–no matter where we live.

I originally wrote about shame, homophobia, and the recent state laws that are curbing the rights of LGBTQIA+ Americans. It is still very important that we change these laws, but I have to acknowledge that doing so will not immediately prevent tragedies like these. Even in my home state, where my rights as a lesbian are protected, there is very little that might stop a single person from expressing their rage. Continue Reading

Thank You to Our 2016 Casino Night NYC Sponsors

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Invitation-With_LogoTomorrow night, #StigmaFighters from all over the East Coast will join together at Active Minds’ 3rd Annual NYC Casino Night. This spectacular event would not be possible without the support of our dedicated sponsors, who truly are going all in to support college student mental health awareness.

I want to send a big thank you to the following Corporate & Individual for help making this event a reality:

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Mental Health News Round Up: June 3

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Kristen Bell: I’m Over Staying Silent About Depression

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Actress Kristen Bell’s essay in Motto is all about the depression that runs in her family and how the stigma around mental health needs to be removed. As a celebrity advocate, she encourages people to open up to one another to speak out about their mental health and end the stigma.

Supporting Mental Health Efforts Beyond The Month Of May

Even though the month of May was filled with mental health awareness from political, social and personal standpoints; these upcoming months are important for taking action. There is need for reform in efforts to improve the services and end the stigma that lingers around mental health.

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