By: Hollis Conners
Active Minds is working to make the conversation about mental health, suicide prevention and stress relief a more approachable topic for Xavier students. They also want to continue to raise awareness of these topics to everyone on campus.
This semester, Active Minds plans to take practical steps to fulfill this goal by hosting a number of events throughout the semester. It will also hold meetings for members to become more educated on the subject of mental health.
Active Minds, along with Navigators and the Center for Faith and Justice, are hosting a luau, the group’s first major event of the semester, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 31. Activities will include coconut bowling, a hula skirt race and a hot dog eating contest. There will also be free food for those who attend.
A number of activities will take place during the week of Sept. 8 to 14, which is National Suicide Prevention Week.
In order to represent the 1100 college students who die from suicide annually, the annual Send Silence Packing display of backpacks will be spread across the academic mall.
Dr. Nicholas Salsman, associate professor of psychology, will also be speaking on what to do if someone is considering or has attempted suicide.
“I am so excited about this event because of Dr. Salsman’s expertise and because of the need for education on this topic,” Kaela Allton, Active Minds president, said.
Pet therapy will also take place on Sept. 25. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) will bring a few dogs to campus so that students can play with them.
National Day Without Stigma, which focuses on stigma surrounding mental health, will take place in October.
Along with attending planned events, students are encouraged to get involved and attend meetings.
Meetings consist of presentations by faculty and students, advice for certain situations pertaining to mental health and YouTube videos that are not only about mental health but comedic as well.
“If we sense that a tough and stressful week is coming up, we will encourage the importance of stress relief by doing something fun and refreshing during our meeting, like playing Pictionary or coloring,” Allton said.
“Although our events work to raise awareness on campus, Active Minds members are the ones that truly benefit from the club’s work within the weekly meetings.”
Meetings take place from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays in Gallagher 330. All who are interested are welcome to attend.