So Active Minds is a mental health club on campus that focuses on reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. So what our main goal is to raise awareness, spark meaningful conversations about mental health and fight the stigma that surrounds mental health. Our hope is that individuals will become better educated, more knowledgeable and more comfortable with their mental health. This is done through a bunch of different events on campus, building a community of passionate individuals with these doing advocacy events, or education workshops, etc. We mostly operate on campus. But this year since campuses are a little bit more difficult to have in person events, we've gone into the community more, which has been really great and super exciting.
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Active Minds, Evan
Evan is the '21-'22 President of Active Minds at Western University. Active Minds is a student group dedicated to reducing the stigma that surrounds mental illness and to creating an open environment for the discussion of mental health issues.
I think common barriers that have really been talked about this year is that Western is making very active efforts to improve which Active Minds is very happy about especially the diversity within counseling, so what I mean by that is predominantly speaking in a lot of universities, not just Western counselors have commonly been older white male who are in this role, and that's really difficult for somebody to come into that if you can't associate yourself directly with the person that you're counseling with. So I think Western students do a great job with bringing in new counselors, more diversity, and that sense. And then as far as other barriers go, I think one of the main barriers acts of the mind really helps to address like I said before, it's just that main stigma around mental health and like, not wanting to talk about it. That's why we have all of our advocacy initiatives and events to bring forth for the pure raw discussion on campus without any filter, because I think that really helps students realize this isn't a bad thing. There's plenty more people doing this. It's not just me, right? And I think after stuff like that happens, that kind of comes more prominent on campus. So acknowledge that it's okay to be like that. Then people start opening up and maybe go to counseling more and, you know, ask their friends for help. So that's kind of my take on that. But like I said, I think Western has done a great job.
I probably would say it's ever changing. I mean, it's a different thing every morning, you know, you kind of wake up and you feel a different way that I feel like that's pretty common with everybody.
Netanya is currently a Media and Public Interest student at Western University, and is doing a placement with mindyourmind. She is from the GTA and is passionate about all things mental health, storytelling and empowerment.
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