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:
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.
With the school year winding down, you’re looking for some quick ideas that can help you reach your fundraising goal. Well, you’re in luck. Read on to learn more about our Easy-Peasy Fundraisers, packed with great ideas to incorporate into your current programming and become the fundraising superstar we know you are!
Letter Writing Campaign (Time Sensitive: March)
In March 2000, Brian Malmon lost his life to suicide — prompting his only sibling, and our founder, Alison, to take action to change the conversation about mental health. And with a lot of determination (and just a few resources), Active Minds was created in a cramped dorm room at the University of Pennsylvania.
Write letters to friends and family to share a little background on the founding of Active Minds and the impact it has had on your life. Keep mind:
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.
Alison Malmon, Founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, Inc., and survivor of her brother’s suicide, shares her perspective on how communities can do more to prevent suicide.
I remember the day so clearly. It was unseasonably warm for March, and I had just recently returned to my campus after my first college spring break. I spent most of the afternoon outside with my roommates — our books lying in front of us, but no studying anywhere in sight. After a few hours, I went inside my dorm room to get ready for dinner and immediately the phone started ringing and ringing and ringing.