Program Bank Spotlight: Active Minds at UMD’s Stress Less Week Carnival

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10252173_10152037603466034_6139215087933776550_nWe all know what springtime means in the Active Minds world — time to celebrate Stress Less Week! While all of our chapters develop unique events during Stress Less Week, Active Minds at The University of Maryland College Park, never fails to execute a successful National Stress Less Week Carnival.

With each year getting better and better, 2015 will be another exciting Stress Less Week for the students at UMD. This month, the national office would like to highlight Active Minds at The University of Maryland’s National Stress Less Week Carnival — a day filled with games, food, puppies, and more!

As our chapters know, Stress Less Week typically takes place the third week of April each year. Every day of the week, Active Minds at Maryland hosts an entertaining and uplifting event addressing a different component of mental health awareness. On the Thursday of each Stress Less Week, the E-board and their chapter members create as many partnerships with student organizations as they can to make each year’s carnival even greater than the last.

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This year, the carnival will take place on Thursday, April 15th, from 10 am -2 pm on McKeldin Mall, the main grassy area on campus through which most travel to and from classes. Each year, the chapter plans a fair or carnival-type event with a lot of fun and educational activities to attract students. The chapter partners with several of the most-utilized mental health resources on campus, including the Health Center, Counseling Center, Center for Health and Wellbeing, and Help Center Hotline.

In addition, they partner with many student groups in order to run the activities throughout the day; these groups include the Pride Alliance, Best Psi Omega, Resident Hall Association, Autism Speaks, Student Government Association, TerpVets, Project Heal, and many more.

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In past years, Active Minds at Maryland planned activities such as tie-dying, make your own stress ball, “Throw Your Stress Away” (darts game), playing with puppies, free Rita’s Italian ice, racing friends in an inflatable obstacle course, and a raffle for an Amazon Kindle. This year, the chapter plans to expand the carnival by adding activities such as finger-painting, coloring books, trivia games, play-doh stations and more.

10152650_10152037599081034_6342887533466755538_nPlanning the Stress Less Week carnival begins at the very beginning of the spring semester and it is an on-going process up until the day-of. Active Minds at UMD creates different carnival sub-committees to help delegate the work to members and allows each member to bring a unique perspective to the table.

10001301_10152037600086034_7061460058169762489_nThe chapter reaches out to fraternities and sororities for volunteers since the event needs a lot of set up and take down. By advertising with fliers, posters, and Facebook groups, the event reaches over 1,000 students on campus and receives about the same amount throughout the hours of the event.

Good luck to Active Minds at Maryland for this spring’s carnival. We hope its even bigger and better than the last!

To read more about past carnival’s hosted by Active Minds at Maryland check out the program bank here.