A student-run organization that spotlights on-campus mental health awareness, education, and advocacy is now “active” at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Active Minds is the local chapter of a national nonprofit organization that works to increase student awareness of mental health issues, provide resources for mental health and mental illness, encourage students to seek help immediately if needed, and serve as a liaison between students and the mental health community.
“We want to start conversations to bring about mental health awareness at OWU,” says Andrea Hatfield ’11, chapter president and a psychology major from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Active Minds is planning various educational activities for students during National Mental Health Awareness Week—the first week of October. “We are helping to plan ‘Shine a Light’ – the Rally for Mental Health Awareness,” Hatfield says. “We encourage students and the OWU community to attend this event.”
The rally is sponsored by OWU Counseling Services and the Department of Psychology, along with the Delaware-Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board and various area treatment providers and community partners. It will be held on the patio of Welch Hall from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. October 7. Music will be featured from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a greeting from President Rock Jones, an invocation from Chaplain Jon Powers, and speakers discussing various topics related to mental health.
An exhibit of photography and essays highlighting the mental health recovery of various people will be on display from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. October 4 through October 10 on the second floor of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. The Center of Vocational Alternatives in Columbus and Delaware will sponsor the exhibit. “Active Minds” is helping plan a reception and talk with the photographers in the Crider Lounge from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. October 4.
Active Minds members are reaching out to all students on campus, and are planning activities for the school year. This semester, they hope to hold “What a Difference a Friend Makes,” an event that will educate young adults about substance abuse and mental health awareness—and the important role that friends play in influencing their peers to make responsible decisions. They plan to offer “free hugs” at a booth, along with cookies for participants.
The advisory council for Active Minds at OWU includes Richard Leavy, professor of psychology; Mary Howard, professor of sociology/anthropology; and Emily Mowry-Dobran, counselor and substance prevention programmer for OWU’s Counseling Services.
Read more about Active Minds.
Read more about the photography exhibit.