1. Work to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health disorders.
Stigma results from silence. When people do not, and can not, talk comfortably and openly about mental health issues, misunderstanding and ignorance are bred. Active Minds seeks to break down these walls and create an open conversation about mental health.
2. Educate students about the prevalence of mental health disorders: the risks, signs and symptoms of particular disorders; and available resources for seeking help.
Active Minds promotes awareness about the prevalence and warning signs of mental health disorders. Many disorders first present themselves between the ages of 15 and 24. Active Minds encourages students to be aware of their own mental health and the mental health of their peers.
3. Expose students to young adults living with a mental health disorder.
"Putting a face on mental illness" normalizes mental health disorders and breaks down the misconception that "the mentally ill" are only people we see in movies or on the streets. One in four college students live with a mental health disorder - a statistic that makes it very likely you know someone personally who has struggled with one. We should be able to talk about an issue that is so pervasive.
4. Plan events to engage the campus community.
Active Minds would like to reach as many members of the W&M community as possible. In order to change the conversation about mental health, we have to get as many people talking as possible!