Pitt Active Minds Offers Support Year-Round

Pitt Active Minds Offers Support Year-Round

Green “Let’s Talk” shirts fill classrooms and sidewalks, encouraging stickers are handed out by club representatives in front of the William Pitt Union, and revered speakers visit campus to share their stories about mental health; it’s Mental Health Awareness Month. These current characteristics permeating campus serve to offer support, destigmatize mental illness, and raise awareness about the importance of discussing mental health. For Pitt Active Minds, these services are rooted in its mission year-round.
 
“The best part about Pitt Active Minds is that it’s all student-run and peer-based,” said senior President, Julia Lam. The club unites students through discussion and focuses primarily on mental health awareness and suicide prevention. “A lot of students within Active Minds have either personally dealt with suicide, have lost friends to suicide, or both. Being able to turn to people and have them say they understand is so empowering,” said Julia. Not only does Pitt Active Minds provide support to club members, it also supports Pitt community members. Many events held by Pitt Active Minds are geared towards offering support and providing people with information about mental health. On Wednesday, October 16, they will host a peer educator event called “What is Therapy?” Workshop to provide students the tools necessary to search for therapists and different styles of therapy.
 
Pitt Active Minds also aims to destigmatize mental illness around campus by creating safe spaces for students to share their stories. On Friday, September 13, the organization hosted Send Silence Packing, an emotionally powerful exhibit that attracted over 2,000 visitors. More than 1,000 backpacks were displayed across the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning to represent the number of college students who tragically die by suicide each year. “After Send Silence Packing, other members and I were talking in a group about how for every student who has died by suicide, there are so many more students that are recovering,” said Julia. “We are trying to give a voice to students of recovery. We want to build a more positive message surrounding it.” Throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, Pitt Active Minds encourages students to share their experiences with mental health in creative ways. Students interested in sharing their stories through writing or art can submit an interest email to pittactiveminds@gmail.com. On Monday, October 21, students will be provided opportunities to creatively share their experiences at Stories Untold: An Art Exhibit on Mental Health and Creative Expression.
 
Pitt Active Minds raises awareness about the importance of discussing mental health on campus by hosting powerful speakers and making its presence known on campus. “We’ve had a lot of really powerful speakers. A couple of years ago we hosted Kevin Briggs who was a highway patrolman who stopped over 200 people from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.” During Mental Health Awareness Month, various speakers like espnW columnist and author of “What Made Maddy Run,” Kate Fagan, and activist and comedian, Kevin Breel, visited campus to share their stories. Additionally, representatives from Pitt Active Minds attended many of these events, including the Self-Care Fair on Wednesday, October 9.
 
By offering support, destigmatizing mental illness, and raising awareness about mental health year-round, Pitt Active Minds is a constant resource for Pitt Community members seeking help. All students are welcome to attend any of the club’s meetings every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. in room 231 of David Lawrence Hall.
 
By: Jennifer Wallace