Meet Mimi, Our New Send Silence Packing Road Staffer

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35014_4955083119225_2087356715_nHello from the newest member of the Active Minds team! I always find myself stuck on ”tell me a bit about yourself”, so let me start with a few facts.
Age: 24. Hometown: Ithaca, New York. Pronouns: She/Her. Horoscope: Aries.
I earned my Bachelor’s degree at Franklin University, Switzerland, where we spoke English and the occasional Italian, traveled the continent, and, yes, consumed a good amount of Swiss cheese.

With a background in community development and a love of travel, I jumped at the chance to join Lee on this semester’s Send Silence Packing tour.  I spent my own college career investing heavily in my college community, and am honored to support those students doing the same for their own communities.
As Active Minds so regularly reminds us, we all have mental health. Mental health is neither a mindset nor an illness, but an integral part of our lives. I am excited to take on the challenge of Send Silence Packing and bring our stories of mental health out of the shadows. It’s only fair that I start this road trip off by sharing a bit of my own story – the story that taught me the negative effects of a community-wide silence around mental health, a story that prepared me to join you all in this conversation.
For the longest time, I saw mental health as an important component of health and happiness… for other people. I supported loved ones suffering from mental health illnesses as wholeheartedly as I knew how. However, I reserved this support and empathy for others. I saw my own symptoms, from a childhood of undiagnosable stomach aches to an anxiety that enveloped my college career, as symptoms of weakness, not illness.
This spring, I will turn 25 while in Allentown, Pennsylvania, at Muhlenberg College. To me, this is a meaningful gift. After 24 years fighting the conviction that my symptoms of mental health illness were my fault and mine to fix alone (and, sometimes, that those of friends and family were mine to fix, as well), this road trip offers me a serious role to play in changing this conversation for all of us.
The more we recognize our mental health, the better we can support it. This spring, with all of your support, I plan to take on a little fitness program for both my physical and mental health. Happy birthday, me! This spring, my mental health means self-exploration, discover, challenge, and growth. I cannot wait for the chance to foster these conversations. I hope you will join me.

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