Active Minds is a new organization on campus that wants to inform others about mental illnesses and the misconceptions surrounding them.
About one in four college students have a mental health issue, and even the individual’s closest friends are often unaware of their problem.
“Our main purpose is to raise awareness of these issues and to promote a healthy environment for discussion and distribution of the facts,” said the organization’s president, Thomas Burroughs.
Burroughs said he wants his organization to educate students on the massive spread of mental illness, the risks of not being diagnosed, as well as the signs and symptoms.
Another goal the group is aiming for during its first year is to present those who have mental health issues to the students.
“This seems to be difficult because few people who struggle with mental illnesses would be willing to expose themselves to such publicity,” said Burroughs. “We have worked hard to become a diversified campus … by allowing people to openly discuss past and current experiences; it will pave the road for even greater diversity.”
Schizophrenia and depression are two major types of mental health issues that often affect college age students.
The organization is putting on a program Nov. 12, in the Vaughn Courtyard. They hope to collect 1,401 shirts to hang up on clotheslines.
Health facts will be on many of the shirts for people to see. Food and information will also be provided at the tables.
“This is our first year on campus and the reaction has already been amazing [in terms of] how many students and faculty are encouraging and willing to sacrifice time and resources for the cause,” said Burroughs. “The future of Active Minds is wide open.”
Their regular meetings are Tuesdays at 9 p.m. in the Brevard Lobby.
Active Minds is a national organization that is active on approximately 30 campuses across the country.