Student Life Editor
ESU’s Active Minds hosted an engaging mind and body fair on Wednesday, Feb 27 in the Sci-Tech lobby.
The fair featured tables full of encouraging pendants, information pamphlets, and mental health games. The organization utilized creative activities to drive its overall message of diminishing mental health conversation as a social taboo.
Students played mental health jeopardy that taught them fun facts about depression and body image. The themed games were inspired by Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
One table presented a game with celebrity cutouts. The object of the game was to properly match the heads of the celebrities with their correct bodies.
The goal of the game was made students appreciate the many shapes and sizes of bodies. Using celebrities as the pieces of the games highlights different definitions of physical beauty in pop culture. The Active Mind’s organization focuses heavily on teaching self-care and self-love.
“We want to change the conversation about mental health and just get rid of the stigma that surrounds mental health. We want people to learn to love themselves and appreciate all the good qualities they have, instead of focusing on the bad qualities,” said ESU student, Mattia Krappa.
The active minds organization is a national organization that seeks to increase the conversation of mental health. The organization addresses a variety of topics such as body image, eating disorders, depression, suicide prevention, and stress relief.
Active Minds was founded by Alison Malmon, then a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, after the suicide of her oldest brother. The organization is aimed towards college students, but anyone can join the movement against mental health issues.
Active minds relay its message with events such as its national Send Silence Packing exhibits, which arrange thousands of backpacks that represent the growing number of suicides and the stories of its victims.
“In December, I lost one of my friends to suicide, so it became really important for me to talk about the topic. It’s so frowned upon to be weak in the head, but it’s no one’s fault. I feel like everyone goes through it, but nobody wants to put a name on it,” said ESU student, M.K. Courduff.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, at least 30 million people of all ages and genders, suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S. The organization also notes that every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder, and eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
For college students, the ANAD states 3.5% sexual minority women and 2.1% of sexual minority men reported having an eating disorder.
“I joined because I have people in my own life who go through mental health issues, so I think it’s more passionate for me. I’m an early-education major so I think spreading more positivity about who you are and your body in kids today is really important,” said ESU students Kya Smith.
According to the CDC, Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of nearly 45,000 people.
Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
The organization’s goal is to make people comfortable with the discussion of mental health issues and give a voice to victims who suffer in silence.
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