Active Minds return to Union


Shriya Biswas

Active Minds E-board poses in front of the Nott.

Shriya Biswas, 807 Editor

Alison Malmon founded Active Minds in 2003 after the sudden death of her older brother by suicide, who was a student at Columbia University. Active Minds aims to encourage talks about mental health as easily and flexibly as physical health. 

Over the years, 600+ campuses have a chapter of Active minds, both nationally and internationally.  Active Minds For U  is all set to return to Union this winter after being discontinued in the pandemic and the first event is today.  Concordiensis Reached out to the executive board of Active Minds regarding their goals for this term. 


Why did you think of restarting this club again? 

Ananya Gupta’ 26, President: “Mental Health is an important topic and may even be considered to be more important than Physical health at times. By the time I learned about anxiety and depression, people around me were already drowning in it, and finding out that what happened to them could happen (and likely has already happened) to so many people gave me the motivation to start this club. Educating people about mental illness, teaching people to recognize the signs in themselves and in others, and letting people know about the resources which are available to them will give them the power to help themselves or others who may be struggling. With the research that I’ve been doing to learn more about Mental Health and well-being as well as understanding what the community knows and would like to know more about it, I believe it is essential to create a safe space for the same. A club where we can promote mental health awareness and education; and also provide an ongoing space for students to have a stigma-free place to discuss mental health. Not only this, but we also want to be supportive of people who may be having difficulties with their Mental Health and this club is the perfect way to do that. Starting such a club requires us to be very careful about the way we talk about mental health so as to not be hurtful to someone, but if created and used in the right way, a Mental Health club can help a lot of people.”  

What are the long-term goals for this club? 

The long-term goals for the club are multiple but we do want to keep on growing our club base in the first place. Additionally, over the course of the next months and through our Active Minds for U chapter, we would like to be able to offer opportunities to go to mental health-related conferences, for students that would be interested in the matter. As this club has been created with the Active Minds national organization, students will be able to assist with their annual national conference, which takes place in Washington D.C. Moreover, Active Minds would also be able to provide online training on mental-health-related topics to students who wish to further their knowledge on the subject and how they can actively advocate for meaningful change. Furthermore, we would like to take part in fundraisers for Active Minds, as Active Minds for U is a chapter of the national organization at Union College. Our last important long-term goal of this Active Minds chapter is for students to feel comfortable enough to reach out to the club if they ever need information about mental health and mental health counseling options, so the club can redirect them to the appropriate facilities when needed, but also continue to work and expand its range of partnerships with professionals. It is important for us to encourage conversation within the community and spread awareness across campus. Aurelie Truquet’ 25, Vice President

What are the resources that this club is utilizing? Are they on-campus and both off-campus? 

We are a chapter of the national organization, Active Minds, which works to support mental health awareness and educate youth about mental health. We are also using resources provided by Wicker Wellness to effectively cater to the needs of our community at Union. Additionally, we plan on collaborating with other mental health groups on campus to spread awareness and host events to promote conversation about mental health. We collaborated with the athletics department for the event last week at which Kate Fagan discussed mental health and college athletes. We believe in approaching different areas associated with mental health, such as sports, academics, and social life. One of the biggest resources we have is the community itself; we want to be able to start conversations among the members of the community and in order to do this we would like to be able to have these conversations and spread awareness about mental health and well-being.

 Adhiti Tallabattutula’26 , Treasurer

What was the club’s first event? 

Our first event is called a “gratitude event” which will be held on February 2, 11 am to 3 pm at the reamer table. We have considered a lot about what would be great to do for our first event since it’s also our opportunity to represent our club to Union for the first time. We have been planning this gratitude event for almost 3 weeks. People in our union community can write an anonymous letter to whoever they want to send it to and will work on it to send those letters to their dorms. Our purpose of this event is to bring warmth and positive energy to our community by beginning February on a positive note by appreciating each other more. Maybe due to the weather of this winter term, midterm weeks, or someone might get lonely during valentine’s day. However, with our small event, we as students in Union can make someone’s day with a short letter. We are looking forward to seeing many people joining our events and spreading positivity and compassion for each other. We will keep working on getting lots of amazing events to create awareness and encourage conversations on mental health and well-being. We hope these events are not only a way for people to destress but to learn and appreciate the topic of mental health!

Daeun Jun ‘26, Social Media Manager

Lastly, what can we expect from your club this term?

Active Minds for U aims to bring awareness, compassion, and positivity to every student on campus who engages in our activities. We hope to be able to broaden people’s perspectives and ideas of Mental Health and well-being through the course of the term and beyond. We plan to have 2-3 more events during this winter term, and with the support of the enthusiastic members who plan to take part in this club, we look forward to holding several workshops where people can actively engage and understand better mental health in general and their mental well-being in particular. We hope to be able to create a safe place for people to voice their opinion about mental health, and share their ideas on how to improve the general mental well-being in their community. With a clear vision to not only attract people who are interested in mental health, but we also want to raise people’s awareness and curiosity about this topic, hence a better understanding of the community is what we are trying to build. That being said, Active Minds can be a promising club where people can come to not only have a good time with fun activities, but also they can take out some knowledge and skills that can help them improve their mental well-being. 

Nguyen D T Dung’ 26, Communications Head

Concordiensis wishes the Active Mind For U Club the very best in its future endeavors!