Active Minds raise awareness

Active Minds, a club dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues at MSU aims to make the issue a topic that more people are comfortable discussing. In an effort to promote mental health on college campuses, Active Minds helps plan advocacy events or to share his or her story. Any student who is interested in promoting mental health can become involved with Active Minds.

Kelsey Link, president of Active Minds and MSU graduate student studying counseling, said, “You don’t have to have a mental health issue, you don’t have to be struggling yourself, but it’s really for anybody who wants to be active in promoting mental health on campus.” Dr. Ryan Niehus, faculty advisor for Active Minds for four years, encourages students to get involved with this serious yet fun organization, “I really believe that the more people we can get involved the better for the MSU community and also for the enjoyment of everyone who’s on board.”

Link pointed out that over 25 percent of the population has a mental health disorder, and therefore many college students know someone who has been affected. Active Minds is committed to raising awareness about suicide and they also work to connect students to resources where they can find help.

Last year, Active Minds coordinated many events to boost mental health and well-being of MSU students, such as providing free yoga classes and massages during especially stressful times of the school year. Link says that her favorite event was bringing a speaker named Jordan Burnham to MSU. Burnham attempted suicide as a student and now speaks at schools across the country to raise awareness about suicide. This event, which was sponsored by a variety of organizations including the athletic department was well received by students.

Active Minds looks forward to arranging many more exciting events this year. Link said, “We’re throwing around the idea to get a veteran on campus who has struggled with PTSD and getting him to come and speak. We’re in the very beginning stages of that planning so we get that off the ground.”

Active Minds has already kicked off the year with their first meeting, but welcomes students to attend their next meeting on Oct. 7 in the SUB. Link anticipates more events in the near future, including hiking the M trail. Students can stay informed about upcoming events by liking the Active Minds Facebook page: Active Minds at Montana State University.