Be ready to have mental health be on the forefront on campus, as a new club has been founded called Active Minds. This club was founded by the current president Sydney Wolf, and her three best friends, Kendra Murray as treasurer, Victoria Kehoe as vice president, and Emily Rottino as secretary; all currently advised by Melanie DiLorenzo or known as Professor DiLorenzo by UNE students. Sydney’s states her reasoning for founding the club as, “everyone has mental health, its constantly being affected by everyone and by everything. So, by helping everyone be aware of mental health we hope that everyone will start helping each other with mental health.”
The focus of this club is to try to make everyone on campus aware of mental health and to prevent suicide. The club itself is not a counseling service however, they are working very close to the on-campus counseling center. Not only is the club working with the consoling office but with the green dot organization, the RA’s, the social work department, the psychology department, and student affairs.
I had the lovely opportunity to sit down at one of the meetings and I was able to get some early interviews with the executive board before the meeting had begun. Only being there for a short amount of time, I found it was relaxing, funny, and yet serious. I was wonderfully pleased to see that the people who were running the club knew their goals and intentions. I got to hear all the ambitious goals that they wanted to achieve for the student body here at UNE. I felt right at home, being able to be myself and feel no judgment. That type of environment was only enhanced when the club meeting had started.
Many of these goals that were discussed were based around either how to help or where to seek help. One of these goals they are trying to achieve is trying to get crisis helplines on the back of Student ID cards; these phone lines might include the on-campus counseling center and suicide prevention lines. Other goals that the club is trying to achieve are, setting up self-care events focusing on information for where to go for help on campus and off-campus. Trying to start a kickoff event called Smash the Stigma, which is a panel that will help discuss student health. There will be public speakers including teachers and possibly experts on suicide and mental health as well as trivial that will be part of it which may contain prizes. Another event might be Fresh Health day which is a day to help students relax and be reminded of mental awareness. Trying to improve training with RA’s with mental health and how to deal with the first-year experience. Also try to work with EMTs and EMS club to help with the trainees how to deal with mental health issues such as panic attacks and mental breakdowns. These are the most present goals, but the club believes there will be more to come as the year goes on.
I find myself instantly in favor of this club and highly recommend anyone who wants to join or ask questions to seek out the club. They have club meetings every other Thursday at 7:00 pm in Decary 209. You can get more information at https://getinvolved.une.edu/organization/activemindsune or you can contact Sydney Wolf at [email protected] about questions for club meetings and future events that you might be interested in volunteering or attending. I recommend going to the club meetings and getting involved with Active Minds to help spread mental awareness.