For those of you who don’t know, Active Minds is a group on campus that has dedicated their time to changing the way students and young adults everywhere view mental health. ‘Speak Out Night’ was an event that Active Minds held to reach their goal of reducing the stigma and raising awareness about mental health and to let speakers share their personal experiences and stories on mental health.
“We run meetings with our members, we host events that encourage reducing stigma behind mental health and we draw attention to mental health issues,” explained Michael Marchione, Vice-President of Active Minds.
Speak Out Night was held in Welch Hall 209 on February 26 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and was filled with different perspectives and views on helping ourselves and others who may have mental health problems.
“Basically, our belief is that one of the best ways to educate people on mental health is to get people talking about it. A really good way is to hear people’s stories because hearing how these issues impact’s a person’s life helps humanize it.” The intentions behind Speak Out Night were essentially to continue the conversation about mental health and to learn about how mental health has affected different people’s lives and how they have or are continuing to deal with it.
With three different feature speakers sharing their different experiences about mental health, all that attended were able to hear stories about the difficulties of bullying associated with mental health issues, helping friends with mental health problems and dealing with mental health for oneself.
“I think it went amazingly,” said Marchione, “It was nice to see members of both the Brock and the Niagara community come out. Just to see new people coming to the events and asking really good questions and sharing new stories really shows how much people are learning from it. I think everyone walked away with hearing something inspiring and I hope Active Minds continues to do great things like that.”
‘Break the Ice’, the next big event that Active Minds is holding, which is a charity hockey game held at a local arena where members of Brock men’s hockey team will be facing Brock faculty members. The game will allow members of the Brock community the chance to witness the matchup and focus on mental health issues that athletes also go through.
“I think it’s important because mental health in athletes is a really underrated realm and people that are athletes, especially male athletes, don’t suffer from mental health issues but they definitely can, especially when you consider the added stress and pressures that come from sports,” explained Marchione.
Active Minds has recently just been promoting Eating Disorder Awareness week, and their booth explains how we need to stop constantly weighing ourselves and comparing ourselves to others, because it is not an accurate representation about us as people. “We just want to foster an accepting and conversing environment at Brock.”
For more information visit Facebook.com/activemindsatbrockuniversity or follow their twitter account for mental-health related news and upcoming events, @amindsbrocku.