Active Minds hosts a lighted memorial walk

Image from Active Minds Facebook page.

Image from Active Minds Facebook page.

Aubreanna Miller, Staff Writer

For National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Active Minds is hosting a lighted memorial walk Sept. 16 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. for the 1,100 college students who commit suicide each year.

Active Minds focuses on changing the conversation around mental health in order to destigmatize it, according to the club’s president, Hannah Mills. “On campus, we do a lot of informing of the public about mental illnesses, as well as putting up displays to help advertise the destigmatization of mental illnesses,” said Mills.

Active Minds also teams up frequently with Haven House in Wayne. According to their website, Haven House is “dedicated to the elimination of violence against women, men, and children through empowerment, education, social action, and support services.”

The display will be featured on the sidewalk stretching from Bowen Hall to the Carhart Science building. Along the way, 1,100 decorated and individualized paper bags will be lit up with tea lights. Sidewalk chalk and signs will point attendees in the right directions and include information regarding the event. Along the route, a tree dedicated to a WSC student who committed suicide in 2018, will also be wrapped in lights.

Active Minds wishes to reach out to those students on campus who may be grappling with mental health and need support. “I just hope that if someone is struggling, they will see the display and know that there is a group that is there for them. I hope that they feel comfortable enough to join Active Minds or just reach out to us and realize that there are people rooting for them on campus and that they are not alone,” said Vice President Seerat Balraj.

Balraj joined Active Minds because like so many others, she has struggled with mental health issues in the past. Through finding the club, she gained an accepting community and a way to reach out to others that were going through the same things. “I didn’t really know that there was anything on campus for [mental health], but once I found Active Minds, I just knew that it was a place and a club that I wanted to be a part of,” said Balraj.

With 87 new members this semester, Active Minds’ membership numbers rose to over 100. For those who want to join, the club meets every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Cottonwood Room.