Mental illness awareness

Active Minds organization marks Mental Illness Awareness Week

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8:39 a.m., Oct. 3, 2012--Active Minds, a registered student organization at the University of Delaware, will mark Mental Illness Awareness Week Oct. 7-13.

Members of the organization will provide information at Kiosk B in the Trabant University Center from 12:30-2:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8, and Friday, Oct. 12.

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Also, the group will mark Tuesday, Oct. 9, as the sixth annual National Day Without Stigma, which is designed to eliminate the shame and discrimination surrounding mental health disorders by creating communities of understanding, support and help seeking.

“We are proud to have Active Minds at the University of Delaware participating in National Day Without Stigma this year,” said Alison Malmon, founder and executive director of Active Minds Inc. “National Day Without Stigma is our organization’s way of promoting an open conversation in order to reduce the stigma society attaches to mental health and mental illness.” 

Across the nation, Active Minds chapter members are asking their peers: “What will you do to fight the stigma?” Everyone is affected by mental health issues in some way yet stigma, and the shame and stereotyping it perpetuates, often keeps people from seeking the help that they need for themselves or a loved one, a representative of the organization said.

Active Minds provides information about available resources on-campus, online, and in the community, educates students about mental health and mental illnesses, hosts events to raise awareness, and encourages students to seek help as soon as it is needed. Active Minds at UD continues to work to create an accepting environment where each student has the resources and support needed to be successful.

At the University, students will be wearing “1 in 4” buttons to highlight the one in four college students in the United States who has a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year. The chapter will also “Stomp Out Stigma” at the Trabant kiosk, chalk around campus, as well as distribute educational resources, materials and giveaways

“We look forward to the day that all college students will be able to discuss mental health issues freely and openly,” said Lauren Tedeschi, co-president of the UD chapter. “We are changing the culture on campus and in the community by providing information about local mental health resources, how to help a friend, and how to talk about mental health and wellness effectively.”

Mental Illness Awareness Week is a national campaign established by Congress in 1990 and held the first full week of October in recognition of the efforts of the National Alliance of Mental Illness to raise awareness.

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