16 Years Ago Today: The Story of Active Minds

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16 years ago today, Alison Malmon’s older brother, Brian, died by suicide. She returned to her campus at the University of Pennsylvania after his death, determined to help save other lives.

So she started Penn’s first mental health awareness group in her dorm room. With that, Active Minds was born.

Take a look at our infographic about how Active Minds has grown & help us honor Brian’s legacy:

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Silence Kills, So We Speak

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Fifteen years ago, my brother Brian died by suicide. After his death, I knew I needed to fight back against the silence that had taken his life. That’s why I started Active Minds.

Today, Active Minds is a network of 400+ chapters comprised of more than 11,000 student leaders in 46 states. The transformational change that Active Minds chapters and the individual leaders in our network have been able to achieve is a remarkable testimonial to the necessity of Active Minds’ work.

Mental illness affects more young people than all other chronic diseases. Last year more than 157,000 youth received medical care for suicide attempts in the U.S alone. This global problem has enormous social and economic implications and is by no means getting enough prevention funding or attention from our government or the private sector. That’s where Active Minds comes in.

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Active Minds Announces New Partnership with NFL Players Association

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To be effective change-makers we need to have the best partners. Help Active Minds welcome our newest stigma-fighting partner — NFL Players Association!

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, I had the great honor of visiting the NFLPA to speak about the importance of mental health. The NFLPA and Active Minds will work together to empower young people to speak openly about mental health in an effort to educate others and encourage help-seeking.

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From Alison’s Desk: My Brother Died 15 Years Ago Today

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15 years ago today my brother and best friend, Brian, died by suicide. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and what more I could have done to help.

After Brian’s death, I knew I needed to bring the conversation about mental health out of the shadows and into the forefront of people’s minds. I refused to let the silence that took Brian’s life win.

That’s why I started Active Minds—to prevent other families from experiencing the tragedy mine did. And that’s why today, on the anniversary of my brother’s death, I am asking you to sign the Active Minds Pledge for Mental Health Unity.

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From Alison: Thank You to Our Supporters!

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TY Sign-v2During the busy end-of-the-year season, it’s easy to set aside the things we’d like to do and focus on the things we need to do. I want to thank all of our donors for doing both.

Active Minds continues to grow and flourish because of your support. Thank you for joining us on this journey. Here’s to a new year full of changing the conversation about mental health.

 

From Alison’s Desk: Bringing Students Home for the Holidays

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_MG_9220-2_alison with picture_compressed (1)I remember the first holiday season I spent with my family as an only child. I was 19 and nine months earlier, suicide had claimed the life of my brother, Brian. I didn’t know it then but for the very same reason, many other brothers, sisters, children, moms and dads weren’t home for the holidays either.

That year it was like experiencing the holiday season for the first time. My family was forced to come up with new traditions that wouldn’t just highlight the hole that was left by Brian’s absence. But despite the grief, I was able to channel my pain into something meaningful after that first holiday without Brian: I established Active Minds.

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#MHCC14 Social Media Guide

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Mapping a Movement Logo No Location WebAre you coming to #MHCC14 this weekend? We sure hope so! It’s the #StigmaFighter event of the year and we have an all-star line-up of keynote and session speakers.

During the Mental Health on Campus Conference (MHCC, get it?), we’re inviting all invitees to tweet their hearts out. Below you’ll find the handles for our speakers on Twitter. Follow them now so you can start tweeting right away at conference!

Keynote speakers:

Presenters:

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5 Ways You Can Get Involved in Suicide Prevention Month

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10636099_10152246205897676_2003875753532688870_nTomorrow, Active Minds kicks off its second-annual Suicide Prevention Month. This year’s theme is Silence Hurts Us All and we’re encouraging all chapter members and supporters to speak out about suicide and help fight the silence surrounding mental illness.

That sounds like a pretty tall task, right? Don’t worry, we have plenty of resources and programs to help you get involved this Suicide Prevention Month. Below are five ways you can take action.

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Robin Williams’ Death and How We Can Prevent Suicide

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Robin_Williams_2011a_(2)I submitted an op-ed to a couple of sites over the weekend reflecting on the loss of Robin Williams. The article still hasn’t been posted, and I would assume (and have been told) that’s because it was no longer newsworthy.

Four days after his death, it was no longer newsworthy. That’s exactly the issue we cannot stand for any more.

This. Is. Newsworthy. Today, and always.

Since Robin’s suicide, I have been thinking tirelessly about his death, about the suicides of my brother and grandfather, and about the thousands of other suicides I hear about in my work that must be discussed.

Below is the original post I submitted.

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