Skate for Mental Health event raises awareness, educates, about mental health


Clifford Adodo Elike ’20 skating. Photo by Stephen Nadler.

Nathalie Gullo, Contributing Writer

In order to raise awareness and educate about mental health on campus, the Union chapter of Active Minds and the Alpha Delta Lambda Sorority (ADL) hosted a skating event at Messa Rink on Sunday, February 24 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Schenectady community members and students could rent skates for $3.00 in addition to purchasing hot chocolate and cookies.

All proceeds went to the National Chapter of Active Minds. Flyers were hung up on tables outside the rink with facts about mental health, such as “50 percent of us will experience a mental health condition in our lifetime.”

Active Minds and ADL member Emily Ehrlich ’19 stated that these flyers were hung up because, “non-psychology majors may not know [the facts] and they can be shocking. So, being exposed to these facts that are relevant impact college students in a way that makes mental health issues less taboo.”

Active Minds is a nonprofit organization aiming to raise awareness of and destigmatize mental health, especially among college students. Co-President of Active Minds Romario Duncan ’20 said, “I got involved with this event and Active Minds because I’m passionate about mental health and realized it’s really essential on college campuses, which is what Active Minds and mental health is about. Our role is to spread mental health awareness.” Duncan helped make sure the event ran smoothly and was in charge of the music.

The College’s chapter of Active Minds organized the event because, “mental health is something that’s really important and it’s not talked about enough,” according to Co-President of Active Minds and ADL sister Sarah Competiello ’21. “We thought this would open up the conversation, also uniting Student Activities and Greek Life,” Competiello said.

Ehrlich expressed similar sentiments, saying, “We wanted to raise awareness on Union’s campus for mental health. We wanted to publicize some of the uncommonly known facts about mental health, especially on Union’s campus where we are trying to destigmatize mental health and issues and create open conversations. Active Minds also wanted students to get out during the winter blues season and interact with fiends and do something fun while raising awareness for mental health.” She praised Facilities Director of Messa Rink Adam Breaker for being easy to work with on campus.

According to the Co-President of ADL Maddie Hamparian ’20, the sorority got involved in order to, “help active minds, give back to the community and support a great cause. Anything that we as ADL and other clubs can do to raise awareness is a really great thing.” Hamparian also stated that, “partnering with school clubs is a great way to interact with the community and give back in general.”

According to Competiello, the event was a success. She stated the event had, “great turnout, lots of people have been donating to the active minds national chapter [through attending], buying hot chocolate and renting skates.”

Duncan agreed, being pleasantly surprised by how well the event did, praising Active Mind’s and ADL’s successful promotion and advertisement for the event’s abundant turnout. He mentioned that when people went to pay for their skates, they would ask about the events theme.

Competiello stated that next term, Active Minds may host a, “Mental Health Share and Listen,” along with another major event of the term.