A new organization called Active Minds is offering students assistance with mental health issues and also encourages students at UWG to seek help for health-related matters.

Active Minds is a national organization that was founded by Alison Malmon after her brother’s death.  Malmon began working on Active Minds (originally named Open Minds) at Pennsylvania State University in 2000.  The National headquarters was established in the summer of 2003 in Washington, D.C.  After the success of Active Minds at Georgia Southern University, Stephanie Brantley and Christen Benson both founded the chapter of Active Minds at UWG. After lots of hard work, Active Minds became an organization on the University of West Georgia’s campus in September 2012. There are currently fifteen members, however over forty students have expressed interest in joining.  The importance of Active Minds is to help students understand and be aware of mental health related issues and to erase stereotypical stigmas regarding any health-related matters.

Active Minds works to eliminate suicide attempts and raise awareness for students in a way that is both informative and fun.  “It stands for something that many people are afraid to discuss,” Brantley said.   “It’s educating and life changing.”

Kela Johnson, pre-med major and secretary of Active Minds has said that one of the most important goals for Active Minds is to defeat stigmas.  Johnson expressed that their mission for students is to erase negative ideas from those suffering from mental illness and provide students with a deeper understanding.  “We stand for acceptance, understanding, and self-wealth,” Johnson said.  Johnson further stated that Active Minds provides a safe haven.

An open mind is the necessary starting point for students joining Active Minds.  “Bring your mind to a place where there is little judgment but an opening to analyze what’s going on,” Johnson said.

Students at UWG can join Active Minds by attending its general body meeting on the second Wednesday of each month, 8pm.  There are no specific requirements for membership in the group.  “We want students from all classes, races, majors, and lifestyles to be part of this organization,” Brantley said.  In order to provide a convenient access for students, Active Minds will take place in various places on campus such as the UCC, grass triangle and/or the Academic Quad.

Active Minds UWG will strive to educate students of the sensitivity and the seriousness of the topic of mental health dilemmas.

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