Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Mental Health Within R&B and Hip-Hop Music


Janelle is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Janelle and her fellow scholars here.

Recent media conversations surrounding mental health have increased after R&B singer Kehlani publically (and bravely) shared her struggles following a recent suicide attempt. Trouble ensued after Kehlani uploaded a photo of herself in a hospital bed shortly after being admitted. Since then many people, both celebrities and fans alike, have criticized and horrifically taunted Kehlani, claiming that the attempt to end her life was fabricated and was only done in efforts to gain attention.



First, we must recognize that invalidating a survivor’s lived experience is both despicable and cruel. There is no place for it. Moreover, we as a culture must remember that the famous people we place on pedestals are just that— people— who are prone to experience the same kinds of hurt and pain that you and I encounter every day. Sometimes, life just happens. And in those moments it does not matter who you are, where you are from, or how many followers you have, because life can and will eventually hurt.

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Calling All California Filmmakers: Enter the Directing Change Contest


2015-16 socMedia Active Minds-08 (1)

Are you interested in making films? Passionate about mental health? You can raise awareness, gain recognition and win money with Each Mind Matters’ Directing Change Student Film Contest

Here’s how you participate:

Step 1) Pick your category.

Step 2) Create films!

Step 3) Share the word! The Directing Change Team can assist you by providing flyers, customized social media posts, guidance from professional filmmakers, and other support.

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ICYMI: Active Minds Featured in The New York Times


Kathryn speaks at an Active Minds meeting at Penn. Photo courtesy of The New York Times.

Active Minds believes deeply in helping students find their voice and share their story. We are incredibly proud to have Active Minds chapter leader and former intern, Kathryn, bravely sharing hers in this The New York Times article on campus suicide.

** Please note, this piece discusses means of suicide and may be triggering. **

Although stress and mental health problems are certainly prevalent at Ivy League schools, they are by no means exclusive to elite institutions. Active Minds is proud to support chapters on more than 400 diverse campuses, of every type, across the country.

Check out the article and let us know what you think!



Mental Health News Round Up: June 26


How Colleges Stop Depressed Students From Returning To Campus

UntitledThis Buzzfeed article follows one student’s experience with Brown University’s leave of absence policy locking him out of his education by denying him readmission 5 times. The Active Minds Chapter at Brown is working administrators to create change about mental health on campus.

It’s Not about Mental Illness: The Big Lie that Always Follows Mass Shootings by White Males

This Salon article argues that solely blaming mental illness after a mass shooting not only further stigmatizes mental health and impedes help seeking, but avoids addressing the deeper issues of the madness of the society that we live in.

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Mental Health News Round Up: June 19


‘Orange Is The New Black’ Star Uzo Aduba On How Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren Is Changing The World

The Orange Is The New Black actress behind “Crazy Eyes,” Uzo Aduba, discusses redefining “crazy” and illustrating the effects of such stigmatizing language on her character. She also believes that more people are talking about mental health because of the show’s popularity.

Murphy’s bill to overhaul mental health system stirs debate

Pennsylvania Representative, Tim Murphy, is working to change the way that the government finances mental health through a bill. Despite his background as a clinical psychologist, his changes are still meeting resistance because some believe that this change will reduce funding in other mental health programs.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: May 22


Colleges Relieve Pressure Post Suicides

In a Huffington Post Live interview, Active Minds at MIT, Active Minds national office, and the Jed Foundation discussed the multi-faceted pressures college students face, administrative policies about leaves, and help seeking behaviors.  The video is well worth a watch for all StigmaFighters working to change the conversation about mental health.

A Commencement Speech For The Already Graduated: Be Courageous

In honor of commencement speeches, one Forbes author has advice for graduates and non-graduates alike: be courageous because anxiety is inevitable. Finding healthy ways to cope with anxiety should be our goal.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: May 15


Silence is Deadly: Mental Health and the Black Community

The first lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, shares her father’s personal experience with depression and her daughter’s struggle with addiction and anxiety to fight the silence in the black community surrounding mental heath.  This op-ed follows her announcement of $73.8 million dollars in initiatives to provide treatment to those with greatest need and the least access in NYC.

LGBTQ Students At Higher Eating Disorder Risk

A new survey of university students compares the rates of disordered eating for sexual and gender minorities to heterosexual females since most of the research focuses on this group.  Students who identified as transgender were four times more likely to report an eating disorder.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: April 10


urlAddressing Stigma, Disparities in Minority Mental Health: Access to Care among Barriers

In addition to facing the regular stigmas of mental health disorders, minorities have to combat increased stigma and other hurdles to receive treatment.  Barriers to care include the lack of culturally competent providers and the lack of media portrayals of people of color with mental health disorders. Additionally, poverty often compounds mental health pressures.

Students Call for Greater Mental Health Resources

After a tragedy rocked their campus, Brown University students are discussing proposals calling for the university to increase the number of counseling sessions available at CAPS, spread the word about services available to students, and offer great assistance to international students.  Brown Active Minds is working on campus to continue the dialogue.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: March 20


imagesClues To Autism, Schizophrenia Emerge From Cerebellum Research

By researching people born without one, scientists are looking at other functions that the cerebellum may have. Although the research is preliminary, researchers see potential for learning more about schizophrenia, autism, and brain plasticity.

Workplace Suicides Are on the Rise

A new study finds that work place suicides rose between 2007-2010.  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Interactive Screening Program is one tool that police and other employers are using to identify those at risk for suicide. Though some corporations are bucking the trend by placing the priority on mental health.

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Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos: Fighting Stigma through Music


michael-angelakosI’m just working with what I’ve been given

It’s not my fault, I’m happy

Don’t call me crazy, I’m happy

You’ve probably heard of the band Passion Pit. They’ve produced hit songs ‘Take a Walk,’ ‘Sleepyhead’ and ‘Carried Away.’ Their second album Gossamer, released in 2012, reached number one on Billboard’s Top Digital Albums chart. The band has performed at music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Firefly and Coachella.

What you may not know is that Passion Pit’s lead singer struggles every day with mental illness. Michael Angelakos was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17. After two years of struggling with the disorder, he tried to take his life at the age of 19, while attending Boston’s Emerson College. After his attempt, Michael went on medication for his bipolar disorder.

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