Chapters 101

October’s Chapter of the Month: Denison University

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Congratulations to Active Minds at Denison University for being named Chapter of the Month! This recently reactivated chapter is consistently engaging their campus with awesome programs and meetings that help to raise mental health awareness and fight stigma! Find out some of the top reasons that we love Active Minds at Denison University:

 

1. Strong reactivation

Kristina Keidel, a junior at Denison University, helped to reconnect Denison’s chapter with the national office based on her strong passion for mental health awareness.  This chapter formerly brought about four to six members to their meetings, but now has over 50 people at their weekly meetings, according to The Den, an on-campus newspaper at Denison University. Not only have they built up their membership, but they have also reached the wider campus community in ways they hadn’t before reactivating as a chapter.

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Active Minds at Denison University student leaders at the 2014 National Mental Health on Campus Conference

2. Creative Take on Mental Health Awareness Week

They combined various types of programming throughout their week-long event to reach different campus communities and were featured in the Denisonian, for their efforts like self-care packages, positive message name tags, student and faculty panel, karaoke night, and food truck fun. They combined mental health education and conversations with stress reducing and fun activities to spread the word about this fairly new organization on campus.

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Denison University students making self-care packages as part of Mental Health Awareness Week

3. Extremely Successful Fundraising

Active Minds at Denison University has had enormous success fundraising during the 2014-2015 academic year as well as so far this year. Their fundraising efforts included a Denison-themed raffle with tickets sold during parents weekend, personal fundraising pages online, and other efforts at their programs. Within their first year as a re-established chapter, this chapter was able to raise over $1,000, surpassing their annual chapter fundraising goal! This year Denison’s chapter has already met their yearly goal of $1,000 through a family donation and a donation of a portion of the proceeds from a jewelry show that one of the board members hosted over the summer. They also applied for grants through their university to acquire additional funding for programs like National Day Without Stigma. This chapter has proved that fundraising is the most successful when using multiple avenues to raise money!

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Denison students eating pizza from a food truck that donated 15% of the profits to Active Minds

4. Relationship with Counseling Center

Denison’s chapter works closely with their counseling center, Whisler Health Services, to encourage students to seek help if they need it. A Denison sophomore, Sam Stamas, was quoted in The Den’s article about Active Minds as saying that “anyone can go to counseling. You don’t have to be having any major issues, or even issues at all – if you just want someone to talk to and listen, that is 100% fine.” Besides clarifying the misconceptions around counseling, Active Minds at Denison University is working with the counseling center to create mock counseling intake sessions for students who want to see what counseling is like before regularly going to sessions.

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Denison students and faculty in a Mental Health Panel as part of Mental Health Awareness Week

This group of dedicated students at Denison University has been impressive right from the start. We can’t wait to see what else you will do to change the conversation about mental health on your campus!