Breaking stigmas with tie-dye

Active Minds’ most recent attempt to educate students about the importance of mental health and well-being involved white T-shirts and lots of colorful paint.

About 500 students participated in the “All Tied Up” event, which was in the President’s Courtyard Sept. 8 and 9.

To promote the group, talk to students about healthy ways to adjust to college and break stigmas associated with mental illness, Active Minds provided free T-shirts for students to tie-dye.

The Valley Vanguard

Vanguard photo | Pakeitha Oldham

Student Amy Smith tie-dyed a T-shirt last week as part of “All Tied Up,” an event put on by Active Minds. Active
Minds is a student organization dedicated to ensuring students stay mentally healthy and are not afraid to seek
assistance. The event helped open up coversation and show students the resources available to them.

Adena Bowman, second year elementary education major, recognized the importance of this event.

“I think the shirts were an excellent idea. Of course tons of people would have wanted to make a tie-dye shirt. And because of the shirt’s overall design, they will help spread the word about getting help with suicide and possibly save lives,” Bowman said.

Jessica Keenan and Bonny Rye, co-presidents of Active Minds, want to open up the conversation about mental health at SVSU.

“I noticed a little hesitation because there is that stigma with mental illness. The (students) that did come and talk to us were very open about it, so that was cool. It’s good to see that,” Keenan said.

Students expressed interest in joining the group and also asked about how to receive counseling on campus.

“We want students to know that it’s OK to ask for help no matter what is going in their lives, even if they are just worried about an exam,” Rye said.

Active Minds also partners with other organizations on campus, such as Peer Health Education, to do activities for Relaxation Night and Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

“One of our mottos is healthy mind, healthy life,” Keenan said.

Later this semester, Active Minds plans to provide blank tags on which students can write positive affirmations. The tags will be placed around campus and students can take the positive messages they may need.

“It’s supposed to be students promoting each other and knowing that someone is there for you even if you don’t know who it is,” Rye said.

Students such as Veronica Harden, fifth-year communication and history major, appreciate the work Active Minds does.

“Coming from a person who lost a parent to suicide, I think it’s great (that) people are taking time out of their day to bring awareness to this rising epidemic,” Harden said.

Only eight students are members of Active Minds. Rye would like that number to double by the end of the year.

“Just one more person that is interested in what we’re doing and wants to help is exciting to me,” Rye said.

Visit the Student Counseling Center in Curtiss 112 to pick up an Active Minds application.

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