Send Silence Packing: Meet Danielle Lukens

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dani-family_v2Hi, I’m Dani, and I’m delighted to introduce myself as the other 50% of the Fall 2016 Send Silence Packing road staff! It’s great to meet you.

What can I say, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind! In late August I packed my bags, said my goodbyes, and hopped on a plane to D.C., eager to embark on a 70-day journey across the United States. I was in disbelief that I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel and support a cause I am so passionate about. It’s now almost two weeks since I boarded that flight and I’m still not sure it’s fully sunk in that this is my life!

daniWhen I read the Send Silence Packing Staffer job posting I knew I had found my dream job. Road tripping, mental health advocacy, and college populations all in one job?!?!? It just seemed too good to be true. But here I am in a hotel room in Oklahoma pinching myself and wondering, “How did I get here?”

Some of you may be wondering the same thing, so hopefully I can clear things up for all of us! I graduated from The University of Vermont in 2012 with a degree in Environmental Studies but a burgeoning passion for mental health. During my senior year one of my best friends’ mental health started to deteriorate.  As one of his primary supports I was introduced to a whole new realm of mental health care that I had never known before. I am grateful for having witnessed the barriers he encountered when trying to access care, and to the stigma surrounding bipolar and transgender people within the mental health community.

I have since pursued a career in the mental health field and have worked in diverse workplaces ranging from a teen substance abuse clinic, to a funeral home, to the counseling and wellness service at New York University. When the opportunity to join Active Minds as an SSP Staffer presented itself it seemed like the perfect next step.

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I am so thrilled to be part of Active Minds and to bring my passion to the Fall 2016 tour of Send Silence Packing. Stay tuned for more updates from the road!

Happy Anniversary to These Chapters!

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Hey, #Stigmafighters! We have some exciting news to share. Recently, our Chapters Team learned that there are six chapters in our network celebrating 10 years of campus mental health awareness and advocacy as of this school year!

The following chapters have been registered with the national office for TEN YEARS as of this school year: Continue Reading

Upgrade Your Advocacy: The Healthy Minds Study

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When advocating for student mental health on your campus, do you ever feel like something is missing? Like you could convince more people to support the cause if only you had hard cold numbers to support your argument?

Show Me the Data

Don’t worry. We’ve got just what you need: the Healthy Minds Study! Designed specifically for colleges and universities, HMS is an online survey of student mental health, service utilization, and related issues. There are approximately a gazillion ways in which HMS research can help Active Minds chapters but we’ll focus on just a few for now.

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5 Reasons You Should Know DeQuincy Lezine

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downloadDeQuincy Lezine, or “Quix” as he is often called, is one awesome human being.

There’s no other way to say it. When conducting research on suicide, his name pops up quite often, but it wasn’t until the past couple months that I’ve really learned about the great work he’s doing. Lucky for me, he agreed to be the mentor for my Emerging Scholars Fellowship project. Overall, I could list several reasons why you should know who he is, but I’ll be brief and stick with only 50. . . I’m kidding, I’ll only cover five.

(1) His book is the perfect mix of credible and personal.

DeQuincy’s book, Eight Stories Up, tells his personal story with suicide and also reviews the risk factors and treatment options for suicidal behavior. He has a talent for writing about research findings while simultaneously throwing in personal anecdotes. The result is that you feel as though you’re chatting with an old friend who cares deeply about your own experiences and well-being.

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