Every student has a unique college experience, a different reason, a different path that they are following. One commonality among college students is their overwhelming sense of stress.
“Active minds being a mental health org, can be helpful … We cover different topics that can be relatable to different students on the campus,” Summer Torres, Active Minds president, said.
Eastern Michigan University’s Active Minds is a mental health organization, with the goal to help break the stigma that surrounds mental health. Many of the organization’s events center around teaching members about different mental health disorders. Some events include Mental Health Monologues, where students get the opportunity to share their mental health stories with others through artistic expression, and a World Kindness Day event where mini packages are made and distributed to the students.
“We did an 'Inside Out' [movie night], and did a discussion based on why that movie is important for mental health,” Torres said.
It is unknown as to when Active Minds first started, but no matter how long it has been at EMU, the club has provided a safe space for students to come and share their struggles. However, it is important to note that the executive board members of the organization are not licensed therapists.
“We are sharing the information, but we are not registered to do therapy sessions,” Torres said.
One of the more influential events that Active Minds does is the Mental Health Monologues, which Torres expresses is actually one of her favorite events. One crucial part of the event is that the students perform their own original work based on personal stories and experiences with mental health. It is a personal and vulnerable experience both for those who are telling their stories and those who are in the audience.
“There’s always that one sentence or one word about a song that you can connect with,” Torres said. “If you’re writing it or creating it, it’s always going to be more personal and true to your story because it is based off your personal experiences.”
With the 2022-2023 school year coming to a close, Active Minds is starting to plan for next year. One goal is to hopefully increase their membership and attendance at events. Although it has been a couple years since the initial start of COVID-19, Active Minds is still recovering from the hit its members took. However, Active Minds is not letting that get in the way of being there for the students.
“Pre-COVID, we had like 25 members, if not more people coming to meetings. So I think they, [the founders], would be sad about the member retention that we have, but I think they’d be happy seeing that we’re still reaching out and we’re still giving a voice to those who are there,” Torres said.
An important factor of Active Minds is that they cover everything under the scope of mental health, a reminder that mental health affects everybody in all different ways.
“We are here for the students. If there is any topic that you wanna hear about or know about, let us know,” Torres said.
To stay updated on future events, or if you are interested in becoming an Active Minds board member, follow them on Instagram @emu_activeminds.
The Eastern Echo welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic. Read our full guidelines here.