The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Breaking News
  • Issue 12 Out Now! Good Luck with Exams and Safe Travels!

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Better Brains

Better+Brains

By: Kelsey Aylor, Senior Writer

In the face of tragedy, Wofford students have banded together to bring about positive change. Following the death of McGregor Ruffin, a beloved member of the Wofford community who struggled with mental health issues, two students decided enough was enough.

Ann Casey Hughes ’17 and Helen Lamm ’17 chartered Active Minds, a mental health advocacy organization, in the fall of 2016 and have broadened the scope of the group through various speakers and events.

Kate Gibson ’17 serves as the program coordinator and is responsible for continuing to plan and advertise the programming in order to advocate.

Story continues below advertisement

“We wanted to start the discussion concerning mental illness and the response has been really inspiring,” says Gibson. “Our initial meeting last fall was amazing because so many came together—students and professors alike. We shared experiences, ideas, hardships and avenues of getting help.”

The next step is to keep this conversation going,” she says. “We want to create an atmosphere where it is comfortable to discuss mental health, ultimately working to end the stigma surrounding it.”

In the current year, Active Minds has held a series of movie nights where students were encouraged to come together and use the opportunity as a stress reliever. While their spring schedule is not yet certain, they are considering hosting another movie screening, a poster campaign and a table talk to discuss minorities and mental health. They are also looking into hosting an event where previously submitted, anonymous stories will be read out loud. To keep up with the Active Minds schedule, follow them on Instagram, @wocoactiveminds, and Facebook.

“This organization is extremely personal for me because mental illness is something I am all too familiar with,” says Gibson. “I wrote an article for The Odyssey last year about my personal experiences and the feedback I received was phenomenal and really helped me. From that moment, I knew I wanted to work to make sure that other voices could be heard.”

Gibson says Active Minds wants to show how impactful mental illnesses can be although they may be unseen.

“Invisible illnesses are misunderstood. We want to demonstrate that the brain can be sick too. Just because you can’t see it, does not mean it’s not real,” she says.

Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal