New campus mental health club receives national attention

Savannah Hoag

The Colorado State University chapter of Active Minds Club recently won a $1000 national scholarship to attend the national conference in Sacramento, California.

CSU Active Minds club vice president Kelly Davis will attend the annual Active Minds National Mental Health on Campus Conference from November 4 to 6 on behalf of the chapter.

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Active Minds is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to raising mental health awareness and encourages students to seek self-help.

“The organization has chapters located on college campuses around the country,” Davis wrote in an email to the Collegian. “These chapters serve as liaisons between student bodies and mental health resources on campuses.”

In the spring of 2016, CSU students began a new chapter of Active Minds in order to break mental health stigma on campus.

The Luke Beischel Chapter Jumpstart Scholarship is awarded to a new chapter registered with the national office. According to Davis, about 40 eligible chapters entered the competition this year.

The scholarship is offered through the Active Minds national branch, and covers travel expenses, hotels and registration for the conference, as well as a donation to the recipient’s chapter.

“The conference is an incredible way to bring resources back to our campus to further develop our chapter and provide support for the student body,” Davis wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I feel that this scholarship is an incredible opportunity for CSU in general.”

This is the first year a student from CSU will attend the conference.

“Our chapter is not a support group, but rather a group of students who are passionate about raising awareness for mental health issues,” Davis wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We are here to encourage peers to reach out and practice self-care throughout their time on campus and beyond.”

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Colorado State University junior Kelly Davis poses for a portrait on Tuesday afternoon. Davis, who is the Vice President of Active Minds, an organization aimed at reducing mental health stigma among students, recently won a scholarship from the national Active Minds organization. (Forrest Czarnecki | Collegian)

The CSU Health Network recently created a health network portal, YOU@CSU, to address health and wellness on campus. The program serves as an online mental health resource for students to manage their stress and well-being.

“More college students have mental health issues … than people recognize, and that stigma can prevent them from coming forward and getting the help they need,” said Zach Bertha, a senior philosophy major. “College is a difficult time, and the more resources we make available for people, the better.”

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CSU’s Active Minds chapter has put on many different activities since their start in the 2016 spring semester. They have helped raise mental health awareness with residence hall workshops, social media outreach, mindful meditation, positive message chalking on the Plaza and other fundraising events. Last year, they also had a Day of Play event on the Plaza to help alleviate stress during finals week.

“We hope to continue to put on events for the CSU community to encourage students to reach out for help if needed,” Davis wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Our chapter would also like to continue a Day of Play event during finals to encourage students to take care of themselves during this stressful time, and to put on new events for students.”

Davis, as well as the other club officers, hopes to dramatically increase their club enrollment as the CSU chapter progresses. The first meeting of the fall 2016 semester is at 5 p.m. Sept. 13 in the Lory Student Center Room 140. Any and all CSU students are welcome to attend, Davis said.

“Many times, mental health can be invisible and it is very easy to suffer in silence,” Davis wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I hope that by speaking out, I can help other students find the help they need.

Collegian reporter Savannah Hoag can be reached online at news@collegian.com or via Twitter @sav_hoag.