By Edwin B. Smith
University of Mississippi
A University of Mississippi student organization is planning a week of special events, beginning Tuesday (April 11), focused on suicide awareness and prevention.
The Ole Miss chapter of Active Minds hosts a Mental Health Week every year. Among other things, the organization hopes to open up conservations around mental health issues, destigmatize these issues and make people aware of resources available if they need help.
Scheduled events during the week include:
- April 11: Narcan training, 4:45-6:15 p.m., Ole Miss Student Union, Room 323
- April 12: Mental Health Good Bags distribution, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Ole Miss Plaza
- April 13: Birdhouse painting, 11 a.m.-noon, University Museum
- April 13: Pilates class, 4:30 p.m., Grove Stage
This year’s programming is designed to raise awareness about the incidence and impact of suicide, connect students to needed mental health resources and inspire action for suicide prevention, said Edith-Marie Green, a senior international studies major from Oxford and co-coordinator for the event.
“We want students to know that they are not alone in their struggles and that there are resources available,” Green said.
Green’s co-coordinator, Alex Bush, a senior psychology major from Denver, said that members of the chapter evaluate its goals depending on each situation.
“Going into this year, one of our main goals was to think outside of the box and try new things, even if it doesn’t end up going the way we planned,” Bush said. “We’ve had some of our new changes turn out great, while others definitely need improvement.
“Altogether, the organization is constantly evolving. I cannot wait to see what goals they accomplish in the future.”
Active Minds was founded in 2003 by Alison Malmon, who was a junior at the University of Pennsylvania. She lost her brother to suicide and wanted to create a way for college campuses to reduce the stigma of mental illness and encourage students who need help to seek it out.
The Ole Miss chapter, which has been active for seven years, is among more than 400 college chapters across the country.