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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Mental health advocacy organization, Active Minds, comes to Wofford

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By: Brie White, Senior Writer

Seniors Ann Casey Hughes and Helen Lamm have brought a newly chartered club to to Wofford’s campus. As co-presidents of Active Minds, the two women have begun all the preliminary actions of club establishment.

The organization has already had two meetings this semester, which will continue to take place on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Logistically, there have been many roles and committees established. These include: a research liaison, a fundraising chair, a vice president, a public relations chair, a communications chair, a program coordinator, a student affairs liaison, a Greek student liaison and a campus union liaison. Members have been encouraged to find an area that interests them and invest in it, making the organization cohesive and expanding upon personal strengths.

Hughes says, “My hopes for Active Minds are awareness and positivity. The stigma [about mental illness] here is crippling for our campus.”

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Active Minds, with the slogan “changing the conversation about mental health,” has more than 250 student chapters in nearly every state in the U.S. To understand what Active Minds is and does, one must understand what it is not. Active Minds is not a support group, does not provide clinical services to students and is not a club associated only with psychology majors or those who are diagnosed with a mental disorder. “This is a mutually supportive group of people, but not a support group,” clarifies Lamm.

Active Minds is meant to be a liaison between students, college university administration and the mental health community. The organization can provide a referral service, directing students to resources for mental health support. “Anyone can and should be a part of this,” says Hughes.

Lamm explains, “Active Minds is a mental heath advocacy organization on campus, wherein our purpose is to break down the stigma surrounding mental health on our campus. We want to push out and publicize information regarding mental illness that would allow people, when they have a problem, to know A) that they have a problem, B) that it’s okay to get help and C) how and where exactly to get that help.”

Studies have shown that college students are prone to mental health problems. Lamm argues that this is true here as well. “Wofford College has had four suicides in the past two years, and we need to start opening up this conversation.” Calling mental health and suicide an “elephant in the room,” Lamm claims that people “are still afraid to talk about it.”

Despite some initial delay in getting a charter, Lamm says that Wofford’s administration has been “extremely supportive.” She says, “The health and wellness center recognize the need for the organization and have been incredibly helpful.”

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