Active Minds fights mental health stigma

By: Nika Shakhnazarova, Staff Writer

When it comes to health, taking care of your body is important, but taking care of your mind is essential. Towson’s Active Minds Organization helps students eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness.

“We promote education and raise awareness and by changing the conversations we are having about mental illnesses in general,” said Active Minds president Kathleen McAdam.

McAdam, a senior who has been a part of the group since she was a freshman, believes that Active Minds is heading in the right direction.

“It was pretty small four years ago when I joined it. There were like six or eight of us. We have been working very hard ever since, and now we have about 25 to 30 members show up to weekly meetings,” said McAdam.

Members also host tabling events to spread the word and promote conversations about mental illness, and the group also hosts yoga nights, stress-less weeks and 5K runs to raise awareness.

“We hold regular weekly meetings, which we make events in itself. We have guest speakers visit our meetings, such as therapists and doctors,” said McAdam. “Just recently we had Dr. Brands, a world-renowned researcher. We also have a therapist coming to our meeting next week to talk to us about narcissism, which is really cool. We’ve never had that before.”

Active Minds covers a variety of topics and issues regarding mental illness during their weekly meetings.

McAdam finds the organization’s successes very rewarding. Her biggest goal is for the organization to become more well-known in the coming years.

“We have people come up to us and congratulate us on how well we’re doing,” she said. “We’re touching a lot of lives, which is extremely important.”

To spread the word about Active Minds, students can follow @tuactiveminds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Active Minds’ weekly meetings are open to all. Their next meeting is Thursday at 5 p.m. in Hawkins Hall, room 305.

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