Marquette Wire

Active Minds sponsors annual Mental Health Awareness Week with events, speakers

Veronika+Scott%2C+founder+and+CEO+of+The+Empowerment+Plan%2C+spoke+on+Tuesday+as+part+of+MUSG%27s+Speaker+Series.+Photo+by+Yue+Yin%2Fyue.yin%40marquette.edu
Veronika Scott, founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, spoke on Tuesday as part of MUSG's Speaker Series. Photo by Yue Yin/yue.yin@marquette.edu

Veronika Scott, founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, spoke on Tuesday as part of MUSG's Speaker Series. Photo by Yue Yin/yue.yin@marquette.edu

Veronika Scott, founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, spoke on Tuesday as part of MUSG's Speaker Series. Photo by Yue Yin/yue.yin@marquette.edu

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Active Minds and 13 other student organizations are sponsoring this year’s annual Mental Health Awareness Week in an effort to eliminate the social stigma surrounding individuals who struggle with mental illness.

“I hope with Active Minds that people will be able to talk about mental health more openly,” said Claire Keyes, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences. “I’ve noticed a lot of people have a hard time talking about it.”

This year’s MHAW runs April 4-9, featuring a variety of events aim to encourage discussions among students and faculty regarding mental health.

“Mental Health Week raises awareness,” said Markie Pasternak, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and president of Active Minds. “The goal (of MHAW) is to de-stigmatize mental illness on campus.”

All MHAW events are designed to encourage dialogue among the entire Marquette campus regarding mental illness.

The week began Monday with a ribbon tree designated outside of Raynor Memorial Libraries  for students to stop by throughout MHAW and tie a ribbon in memory of someone who lives with a mental illness. That night featured a Stress Less Night which involved Zumba and yoga classes along with stress ball making, a photo booth and free food.

Tuesday’s event featured Veronika Scott, the founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, as the next speaker in Marquette Student Government’s Speaker Series.

On Wednesday night, Active Minds, Sigma Phi Epsilon and MUSG hosted the next Dialogue Dinner in the Alumni Memorial Union ballrooms. The dinner explored mental health and encouraged discussion around mental health awareness.

Campus Ministry is holding a prayer service today at 12:30 p.m. in AMU 227 for people with mental health issues and for those who know others with mental health issues. Sigma Phi Epsilon will host a comedy show fundraiser tonight at the Unions Sports Annex at 7 p.m.

On Friday, MUSG will show Forrest Gump at Varsity Theatre at 8 p.m.

MHAW will close out Saturday with the Stomp Out Stigma 5k Run/Walk at 9:30 a.m. Students are encouraged to register in advance. All proceeds will go toward the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“Our focus is spreading mental health advocacy,” Pasternak said. “We work with students and faculty how to be mental health advocates. We speak for those who don’t have a voice in terms of mental health.”

Active Minds focuses on encourages students to make appointments at the Counseling Center if they need another avenue of support for their mental health and emotional well-being.

“Active Minds is the bridge between the students and the counseling center,” Pasternak said. “Sometimes it’s really hard to get students to go into the counseling center so it’s great that Active Minds acts as that bridge.”

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