On Wednesday October 9, over 200 people took over two lecture halls in Thistle while countless others watched a live stream from home. It wasn’t a guest lecture, it wasn’t an information session, it wasn’t some extra credit assignment for a psychology class. It was four courageous, well-spoken students, talking about their experiences with mental health.
Active Minds is a national organization that aims to shatter the stigma around mental health issue. The chapter that runs at Brock University is lead by students and catered to students. Their latest event, “Let’s Talk About It” invited four students from the organization to share their experiences and views of mental health issues. The disorders that were touched upon were Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, anxiety, depression and eating disorders, but the stories that came from these individuals made more of an impact than the disorders themselves, bar none.
“The last thing I want is for people to feel bad about me,” said one contributor, as they walked the audience through their experience with the intrusive thoughts and overwhelming guilt that comes from having a disorder like OCD.
“It sucks, too many people have it and you need to get better through treatment” said another, equating mental health to a more physically driven disease, like cancer.
“I say tunnel because this is something I’m constantly going through, and the light — although dim and far at times, never goes out” came from another individual, a quote that got an outbreak of applause from the audience.
“I have bad days, worse days, good days and then I have amazing life changing days, and then, I have myself,” said the last participant, ending the presentation part of the night with a moment of sincere reflection.
Active Minds aims to reduce the stigma around mental health, provide support for those in need and educate the public. Along with meetings and events, the members of the club aim to provide support for one another and work together to reduce the stigma behind the disease, the treatment and the people it affects.
Mental Health resources at Brock include: Student Health Services, which is comprised of doctors, nurses and physicians and offers more than just prescription refills. There is also Brock Counselling Services, which is free for all students and can assist in working through
any sort personal difficulties with relationships, self-confidence, sexuality and other personal issues. The Student Justice Centre offers peer support with drop-in times from 9:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. with no appointment necessary.
For more information visit facebook.com/activemindsatbrockuniversity or follow their twitter account for mental-health related news and upcoming events, @amindsbrocku.